August 2011 Archive
2011-08-31: US radio host Glen Beck has garnered more publicity for himself by arguing on his radio show that the use of the term "African-American" should be replaced by the terms "black" or "Coloured".
He commented to co-host Pat Gray, "Correct me if I am wrong. Didn't you feel ridiculously stupid everywhere in Africa, in Europe, in South America, in Jerusalem, when you would say the words 'African-American?'", receiving the response, "Oh, yeah, because it doesn't apply there."
Gray then asked what the correct term was and Beck responded with "Black" but then added that "coloured" was also acceptable and was used in other countries including South Africa.
The host then went on to say that people concerned were "American" rather than "African-American", adding, "Look at what happened with Martin Luther King. That makes you an American. Judge not by the color of your skin. And you weren't over in Africa. Your great-great-great grandfather was. Your great-great-great-great grandfather may have been. But you weren't." and then commenting, "And sure, this country sucked for blacks. Sucked, beyond sucked for a long time. But it doesn't now. It doesn't now. Be proud to be an American."
Some reports also brought up other comments made recently by the host including a comment at his 'Restoring Courage' rally in Jerusalem in which he called Hurricane Irene a 'blessing from God' and also comments that the Japan earthquake and tsunami was a "message from god" and compared the Youth Rally at Utoya Island in Norway (at which around 70 youngsters were attending a summer camp organized by the youth division of the ruling party: A further eight people were killed in a car bomb in Oslo) to Hitler Youth rallies.
RNW Comment: Beck in citing the use of coloured in South Africa shows woeful ignorance of that country's recent history and part of us would find it just as reasonable as his comments to put him in a township there with a placard asking for a definition of the word: He would soon find out that the term was part of the official classification of people under apartheid into four groups - native; white; coloured; and Asian.
The comment is offensive in this context however dressed up and irrespective of the strength of other parts of Beck's arguments but we suspect amongst his audience - many of whom are obviously "off-white" or "Pinko" (to use the colour palette more accurately in describing skin colour) that it will regrettable be a plus rather than an occasion to pause for thought.
New York Daily News report:
UK Daily Mail report:
2011-08-31: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that use of the word "faggot" on air may be artistically justified in context although it backed comments in an earlier decision about the nature of the word.
It made the ruling following considerable criticism for a ruling earlier this year that a the broadcast of an unedited version of the song "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits contravened the Human Rights Clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code in using the word three times. (See RNW Jan 13).
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which received considerable feedback about the decision, subsequently wrote to the CBSC and in the letter, after referring to the new "national scope of this matter, the strong public reaction to the Atlantic Panel's decision, and the considerable experience of the CBSC in reviewing such matters,", requested that the "CBSC should appoint a panel with a national composition to reconsider the matter and review the new correspondence regarding this song."
In that reconsideration, the CRTC requested that the CBSC seek submissions from the public "by means of a public request for comments via your website" and, in so doing, "take into consideration all relevant factors," including the context and prominence of the challenged word, the age and origin of the song, and the length of time and frequency of its airplay.
The CBSC then sought public comment and says that the National Panel reviewing the decision has been alerted to considerable additional information relating to the song's context and that this could have led to a different decision.
It notes that alternative versions of the song without the word "faggot" have existed since the song was first released in 1985 and that of the band's three live albums, only one includes "Money for Nothing" and other words have been substituted for two of the three contested words there.
In addition all three of the compilation albums include versions of "Money for Nothing" in which what it refers to (coyly?) as the "other f-word" has been entirely removed and that in 23 live concerts by the band or Mark Knopfler alone since it broke up only one includes the word three times, five included it once and 17 did not use it at all and three of the versions available online via iTunes do not use it and two use all three instances.
The National Panel comments that amongst the e-mails it received hardly any opposed the Atlantic Panel's evaluation of the word "faggot" with arguments made relating to context and the long-term acceptance of the classic song.
The National Panel has opted not to interfere with the original decision and adds that the word "is not merely discriminatory and insulting, but it is also aggressive, hurtful and painful" but then goes on to consider the issues of context. The panel majority - one adjudicator dissented - took the view that there was a story behind the song and that "the composer's language appears not to have had an iota of malevolent or insulting intention."
It notes the circumstances in which Knopfler composed the song as he observed a guy working in an appliance store in New York City -- that "bonehead who worked for the store, a great big macho guy with a, you know with a checked shirt on and a cap and a pair of work boots" was looking up at MTV and bemoaning his fate relative to the musical performer on the television screen. He "borrowed a bit of paper and started to write the song down in the store. I wanted to use a lot of the language that the real guy actually used when I heard him, because it was more real. It just went better with the song, it was more muscular." It was, in that sense, more a commentary on the worker than the MTV performer.
That story, it says, provides sufficient plot development, story line and context to justify the application of the legitimate artistic usage exception.
It adds that the majority would also consider that Mark Knopfler has satirized the jealous attitude of the "bonehead in the checked shirt" who was his inspiration and that he has done so deftly, and with a light and genuine touch. The Panel concludes that this contextual consideration would also on its own justify the usage of the otherwise unacceptable word "faggot" in the context of the broadcast of this song.
Dissenting adjudicator R. Deverell began by stressing stressed his agreement with the majority view that the word "faggot" is "aggressive, hurtful, painful and insulting, as well as abusive and unduly discriminatory" and that "the age and origin of the song and recognitions it earned around the time of its release do not protect its broadcast today."
He added that as regards context he took the view that the context relevant was that contained in a broadcast or the introduction to the broadcast: On this basis he commented, "In the absence of self-contained context or supplementary information at the time of broadcast, I would decide that the broadcast of the original, unedited version of "Money for Nothing" constituted, and would constitute in future, a breach of the Human Rights provisions of the CAB Code of Ethics and the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code."
2011-08-31: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has launched a public consultation on the commercial promotion of food and drink to children in broadcasts. Under current rules the broadcasters are "required to be responsible in their messaging and portrayal of food and drink to those aged under 18" in adverts of particular interest to children or aired during children's programmes.
The consultation is part of a review by the BAI on the diet and nutrition rules contained in its Children's Commercial Communications Code and responses have to be submitted by October 6.
Once this initial public consultation is completed, all responses will be considered by the BAI. If a clear requirement emerges to amend the existing rules on diet and nutrition, the BAI will produce a draft set of revised rules. These will be put to a second public consultation to determine their final shape.
Commenting on the consultation, BAI Chairperson Bob Collins said in a statement, "This is a very important review for the BAI and we are casting the net as wide as possible to secure a broad base of views. As well as industry groups, health organisations, groups that represent parents and children, advertisers and broadcasters, we are keen to receive input from members of the public. Any person with a view about how advertising of food and drink is promoted to children in the broadcast media is invited to be part of the consultation: you don't necessarily need to be an expert."
2011-08-30: Clear Channel Radio has named radio veteran Lisa Decker as President and Market Manager for its Seattle cluster in succession to Michele Grosenick, who left yesterday.
Decker, who was chair of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council in 2009, resigned as CBS Radio's SVP/Seattle Market Manager in April after 16 years with the company there, having returned to Seattle as General Sales Manager for CBS Radio in 1995 having spent nearly a decade with KINK-FM in Portland: She then was promoted to the positions of Vice President/ Market Manager; Senior Vice President/Regional Executive; and in 2007 became Senior Vice President/Market Manager.
After a brief stand-in period for CBS Radio Executive VP of Operations Scott Herman, she was replaced in May with another industry veteran, Kevin McCarthy, who had managed the Entercom cluster in Seattle from 2003 to 2005 and had previously worked for Clear Channel in San Diego and in Minneapolis for Chancellor, Colfax and Trumper.
Clear Channel's EVP of Operations, Western Region Susan Karis said Decker was "an amazing addition to the Clear Channel Radio team" and added, "She has proven success with an impressive track record in delivering results in a highly competitive field. She's going to be a great leader for the Seattle market."
Grosenick began her radio career at KUBE-FM in Seattle, which she joined as its traffic director in 1981, and remained with Clear Channel when it bought KUBE, sister stations KJR-AM, KFNK-FM and outdoor advertiser AK Media, from Ackerley Communications in 2001/2002. She became Clear Channel's Seattle Market Manager in 1998. So far we have seen no word on why she left.
Both Decker and Grosenick have been named as named one of Radio Ink's Most Influential Women in Radio: Grosenick was in the list for five consecutive years and in 2005 was named its #1 Market Manager in radio whilst Decker was one of Radio Ink's Most Influential Women in Radio from the years 2000 to 2010.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-08-30: A parody song entitled "12 Days of a Guido Christmas" that was aired on December 23, 2010, by CIDC-FM (Z105.5 FM, Toronto) has been found not to have breached Canadian codes on undue stereotyping although a Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) panel did comment on its use of an "offensive word" that it considered breached the Human Rights Clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Code of Ethics and the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code, as well as Clause 9 of the latter Code, which requires broadcasters to "be sensitive to, and avoid, the usage of derogatory or inappropriate language or terminology in references to individuals or groups based on race, national or ethnic origin."
The song, inspired by the well-known carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" had led to a complaint that it "portrays Italians in a stereotypical way" and the Ontario Regional Panel of the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council noted that in correspondence between the broadcaster and complainant three words were referred to - "Guido", a word that was not aired but was used as the title of the parody in the correspondence; paesan (a slang term for a stereotypical working class white male from the Northeastern United States with a macho attitude), which was used a number of times - and "guinea", a term used as a disparaging term for Italians that occurred in every stanza of the song except the first.
It referred to a previous decision in its ruling, concluding of its use that it found "nothing redemptive in the matter at hand regarding the utterly gratuitous use of the word 'guinea' and terming the word "derogatory, inappropriate, abusive and unacceptable" and saying "there is no more reason for its usage here than there was in the [earlier Ontario Panel decision."
With one adjudicator dissenting (and taking the view that Codes on stereotyping were breached) the view of the majority of the panel was that every line of the song made it "abundantly clear that the ditty was indeed focussed on Italians" and that it did stereotype Italians but not unduly so to the extent that Codes were breached.
The majority it said "concludes that the comments made in each of the verses were undoubtedly meant to characterize Italian habits and practices, even on a somewhat tongue-in-cheek basis, but it does not consider that the comments were negative, much less unduly negative.
The station in response to the complaint had commented of the word paesan that it is "widely used in Italy to denote an individual from the same hometown - a villager or fellow countryman" and added "The term is most widely used across the country as a term of endearment."
The complainant rejected this response and took the matter to the CBSC for its ruling.
2011-08-30: UTV Media has reported pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of June up 15% to GBP 10.9 million (USD 17.8 million) with Group operating profit up by 4% to GBP 12.8 million (USD 20.9 million on revenues up slightly - from GBP 58.8 million a year ago when they were aided by a boost from World Cup soccer to GBP 59.1 million (From USD 95.9 million to USD 96.4 million).
The company additionally noted that it had reduced its net debt over the past 12 months by 18% to GBP 63.1 million (USD 102.9 million) and that its net finance costs were down 22% to GBP 1 8 million (USD 2.9 million): Diluted adjusted earnings per share were up by 16% to 8.64p and its is proposing to increase its interim dividend from 1.0 pence per share a year ago to 1.5 pence.
Within the figures, UTV said both its radio and TV operations strongly outperformed their markets although its Irish radio revenues were down by 4% in difficult market conditions with an associated profit decline of GBP 200,000 (USD 326,000) in the first six months in difficult market conditions:
TV advertising revenues rose 4% whilst those for the ITV Network overall were flat and its operating profit more than doubled in the six months, increasing to GBP 3.1 million (USD 5.1 million)
In contrast Radio and New Media operating profits both fell - by 11.1% to GBP 8.8 million (USD 14.4 million ) and by 10% to GBP 900,000 respectively.
Within radio, UTV noted that its GB radio division, despite comparisons being with year-ago figures boosted by World Cup soccer., maintained revenues at GBP 25.2 million (USD 41.1 million) but operating costs were up GBP 800,000 (USD 1.3 million (to GBP 19.4 million (USD 31.6 million) with World Cup cost savings being more than offset by increased investment in programming and presenters at talkSPORT.
In relation to its Irish radio operations UTV noted a 4% revenue fall to GBP 11.0 (USD 18.1 million) million and commented, "The Irish advertising marketplace continued to be very challenging but our strong audience delivery was instrumental in maintaining our outperformance of the market."
"The benefits of this increased investment, which includes enhanced Premier League coverage and development of online activities,"commented UTV", are already evident in increased audiences, but revenue improvement will inevitably lag improvement in both broadcast and online audiences."
Looking ahead UTV says it expects third quarter advertising revenues to be up 3% on a year earlier with GB radio total radio expected to rise 9% within which national sports station talkSPORT revenues are forecast to be the driver with its revenues up 14% compared to 2% growth at local radio stations.
TV revenues in contrast are expected to be down around 1% in line with the ITV network and Irish radio advertising revenue "likely to record a reduction of about 5% reflecting the current macro-economic factors and uncertainties in the Irish market."
Group Chief Executive John McCann commented, "These are another robust set of results despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions. A 15% uplift in pre-tax profits, an 18% reduction in net debt and a significant increase in dividend all point to good progress being made in positioning the company for the upturn."
Chairman John B McGuckian sounded a note of caution, commenting, "It is difficult to be optimistic in the midst of such uncertainty surrounding growth in both domestic and global economies. Nevertheless, your company continues to make steady progress and operating budgets are being met and often exceeded. Robust cash flow management has significantly strengthened the balance sheet and our expectation is that our net debt/EBITDA ratio at the year end will be around 2 times."
2011-08-29: As it was pretty well certain to do the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has praised the work done by broadcasters in covering Hurricane cum Tropical Storm Irene over the weekend.
NAB President and CEO Gordon H. Smith in a statement commented, "NAB salutes broadcasters from the Carolinas to Maine who did a remarkable job this weekend keeping citizens informed during Hurricane Irene. While cell phone, electricity and cable system outages were occurring up and down the East Coast, broadcasters were a trusted resource that millions of Americans relied upon for accurate information."
"Our stations used a combination of 'boots on the ground' reporting and social media to keep citizens informed, proving our contention that broadcasting and broadband are complimentary services," he continued. "As we work with policymakers on a broadband policy that best serves local communities across the U.S., NAB will continue to make the case that no technology can replace broadcasting's 'one-to-everyone' lifeline role in an emergency."
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also issued guidance to people about preparedness for Irene and chairman Julius Genachowski posted a statement of condolence to those who lost loved ones and assessing the damage to communications, commenting, "The good news, based on these initial reports, is that there hasn't been major damage to our communications infrastructure, except for damage along coastal regions hit hard by the storm."
He continued, "We are pleased that current reports indicate no 9-1-1 center is without service, and we have received no reports of public safety communications outages. Overall, broadcast and radio are largely unaffected, though in North Carolina a significant number of cable customers are out of service."
The tips involve keeping use of the phone system down and making brief calls or sending text messages to minimize network congestion (we have not seen any reports on how far this was acted on); and the obvious like having "charged batteries and car-charger adapters available for backup power for your wireless phone" and "if you lose power in your home, try using your car to charge cell phones or listen to news alerts on the car radio. But be careful - don't try to reach your car if it is not safe to do so, and remain vigilant about carbon monoxide emissions from your car if it is in a closed space, such as a garage."
The tips also include "Tune-in to broadcast and radio news for important news alerts."
RNW Comment: From the UK it was rather difficult to assess the cover - we imagined ourselves in two places we know fairly well in New York - one close to Gracie Mansion and the other on Long Island and tried to get a perspective on the cover from stations online.
Unfortunately some were blocked to us (WINS being a prime one); we had problems getting others; and the ones we did get were actually of less use than the maps available online.
As might be expected radio trade magazines like Radio Ink carry plenty of self-congratulatory cover and we will attempt to listen to audio they have posted to see if it changes our assessment of the percentage of useful information (as opposed to what Dr Johnson of dictionary fame once termed "mere wind", which certainly comprised a fair amount of the chit-chat we heard).
Finally to put the whole into perspective, the latest reports we have seen of Irene indicate that insured damage in the Bahamas from Hurricane Irene could run from 4-10% of the country's GDP whilst that is the US from Hurricane/Tropical storm Irene is well under 1% of the US GDP.
FCC - Genachowski statement and FCC tips:
2011-08-28: Last week was a little busier for the regulators as regards radio than have been other recent weeks with the main activity again in North America, where amongst other things the "Fairness Doctrine" has been officially consigned to the graveyard , and a lower level elsewhere and no radio announcements from Ireland.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has posted a public notice calling for comment on the first review of its current privacy guidelines, which date back to 2005 (See RNW Aug 26).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a few radio-related postings including approval of a corporate reorganization to transfer assets held by Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Ontario Inc. to BCE Inc.
The radio licences involved include those held by
*Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership:
CJCH-FM Halifax; CIOO-FM Halifax; CKGM-AM, Montréal; CKKW-FM Kitchener; CFCA-FM Kitchener; CFRW-AM Winnipeg; CFWM-FM Winnipeg;& CHIQ-FM Winnipeg;
*Bell Media Ottawa Radio Partnership:
CFRA-AM, Ottawa; CFGO-AM, Ottawa; CKKL-FM Ottawa; & CJMJ-FM Ottawa;
*Bell Media Ontario Regional Radio Partnership:
CFJR-FM Brockville; CJPT-FM Brockville; CKLC-FM Kingston; CFLY-FM Kingston; CKPT-FM Peterborough; CKQM-FM Peterborough;& CKLY-FM Lindsay;
*Bell Media Toronto Radio Partnership
CHUM Toronto; CHUM-FM Toronto; CFXJ-FM Toronto 'and the transitional digital radio undertakings CHUM-DR-1 Toronto and CHUM-DR-2 Toronto.
*Bell Media Windsor Radio Partnership:
CKWW-AM Windsor; CKLW-AM Windsor; CIMX-FM Windsor; & CIDR-FM Windsor.
*Bell Media Calgary Radio Partnership:
Bell Media British Columbia Radio Partnership:
CFTE Vancouver; CKST Vancouver; CFBT-FM Vancouver; CHQM-FM Vancouver; CFAX Victoria; CHBE-FM Victoria.
The CRTC also issued short-term renewals from 1 September 2011 to 1 March 2013 for the following Canadian Broadcasting Corporation licences, noting that the renewals do not dispose of any substantive issue that may exist with respect to the renewals:
CBC Networks: Radio One, Radio Two, Première Chaîne and Espace musique.
CBBS-FM Sudbury, Ontario
CBCL-FM London, Ontario
CBOX-FM Ottawa, Ontario
CBOQ-FM Ottawa, Ontario
CBQ-FM Thunder Bay, Ontario
CBFG-FM Chisasibi (Fort-George), Quebec
CBFH-FM Waskaganish, Quebec
CBFV-FM Waswanipi, Quebec
CBDQ-FM Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador
CKCX-SW Sackville, New Brunswick
CBX-FM Edmonton, Alberta
CBAF-FM Moncton, New Brunswick and its transmitters
CBAF-FM-15 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and its transmitters
CBAF-FM-5 Halifax, Nova Scotia and its transmitters in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador
CBAL-FM Moncton, New Brunswick and its transmitters
CBAM-FM Moncton, New Brunswick and its transmitters
CBAX-FM Halifax, Nova Scotia and its transmitters in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and in Newfoundland and Labrador
CBBX-FM Sudbury, Ontario and its transmitter
CBCS-FM Sudbury, Ontario and its transmitters
CBCT-FM Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and its transmitters
CBCV-FM Victoria, British Columbia and its transmitters
CBCX-FM Calgary, Alberta and its transmitter
CBD-FM Saint John, New Brunswick and its transmitters
CBE-AM/FM Windsor, Ontario and its transmitters
*Following the conversion to the FM band approved in CBE Windsor - Conversion to FM band and new transmitter in Leamington, the licence for CBE-AM Windsor was also renewed from 1 September 2011 to 30 September 2011.
CBEF Windsor, Ontario and its transmitters
CBF-FM Montréal, Quebec and its transmitters
CBF-FM-8 Trois-Rivières, Quebec and its transmitter
CBF-FM-10 Sherbrooke, Quebec and its transmitters
CBFX-FM Montréal, Quebec and its transmitters
CBG Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador and its transmitters
CBGA-FM Matane, Quebec and its transmitters
CBHA-FM Halifax, Nova Scotia and its transmitters
CBH-FM Halifax, Nova Scotia and its transmitters
CBI Sydney, Nova Scotia and its transmitters
CBI-FM Sydney, Nova Scotia
CBJ-FM Chicoutimi, Quebec and its transmitters
CBJX-FM Chicoutimi, Quebec and its transmitter
CBK-AM Regina, Saskatchewan and its transmitters
CBK-FM Regina, Saskatchewan and its transmitters
CBKA-FM La Ronge, Saskatchewan and its transmitters
CBKF-FM Regina, Saskatchewan and its transmitters
CBLA-FM Toronto, Ontario and its transmitters
CBL-FM Toronto, Ontario and its transmitters
CBME-FM Montréal, Quebec and its transmitters
CBM-FM Montréal, Quebec and its transmitters
CBN-AM St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and its transmitters
CBN-FM St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and its transmitters
CBOF-FM Ottawa, Ontario and its transmitters in Ontario and Quebec
CBO-FM Ottawa, Ontario and its transmitters in Ontario and Quebec
CBON-FM Sudbury, Ontario and its transmitters
CBQR-FM Rankin Inlet, Nunavut and its transmitters
CBQT-FM Thunder Bay, Ontario and its transmitters
CBR-AM Calgary, Alberta and its transmitters
CBR-FM Calgary, Alberta and its transmitters
CBRX-FM Rimouski, Quebec and its transmitters
CBSI-FM Sept-Îles, Quebec and its transmitters in Quebec and in Newfoundland and Labrador
CBT-AM Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador and its transmitters
CBTK-FM Kelowna, British Columbia and its transmitters
CBU-AM Vancouver, British Columbia and its transmitters
CBUF-FM Vancouver, British Columbia and its transmitters
CBU-FM Vancouver, British Columbia and its transmitters in British Columbia, in Yukon Territory and in Northwest Territories
CBUX-FM Vancouver, British Columbia and its transmitter
CBVE-FM Québec, Quebec and its transmitters
CBV-FM Québec, Quebec and its transmitters
CBVX-FM Québec, Quebec and its transmitters
CBW-AM Winnipeg, Manitoba and its transmitters
CBW-FM Winnipeg, Manitoba and its transmitter
CBWK-FM Thompson, Manitoba and its transmitters
CBX-AM Edmonton, Alberta and its transmitters
CBY-AM Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador and its transmitters
CBYG-FM Prince George, British Columbia and its transmitters
CBZF-FM Fredericton, New Brunswick and its transmitters
CFFB Iqaluit, Nunavut and its transmitters
CFGB-FM Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador and its transmitters
CFPR Prince Rupert, British Columbia and its transmitters
CFWH-AM Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and its transmitters
CFYK-AM Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and its transmitters in Northwest Territories and Alberta
CHAK-AM Inuvik, Northwest Territories and its transmitters in Northwest Territories and Nunavut
CHFA-AM Edmonton, Alberta and its transmitters
CHLM-FM Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec and its transmitters
CJBC-AM Toronto, Ontario and its transmitters
CJBC-FM Toronto, Ontario and its transmitters
CJBR-FM Rimouski, Quebec and its transmitter
CKSB-AM St. Boniface, Manitoba and its transmitter in Manitoba and Ontario
CKSB-FM Winnipeg, Manitoba and its transmitters
The agency also issued the following short-term renewals:
*Renewed from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2014 the licence of Astral Media Radio Atlantic Inc.'s English-language commercial radio station CKBC-FM Bathurst, New Brunswick. It noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with Radio Regulations concerning the provision of annual returns for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 broadcast years: Astral had Astral indicated that due to technical issues it was unable to file these forms electronically and that it was not aware that they had not been successfully filed.
*Renewed from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2015 the licences of Norwesto Communications Ltd.'s English-language commercial radio station CKQV-FM Vermilion Bay and its transmitters CKQV-FM-1 Dryden, CKQV-FM-2 Kenora and CKQV-FM-3 Sioux Lookout. The CRTC noted that the licensee filed its annual returns late, on the dates indicated: 2004-2005: 21 April 2006; 2005-2006: 31 January 2007; 2006-2007: 21 May 2008; 2007-2008: 9 April 2009; 2008-2009: 9 February 2010; and 2009-2010: 21 April 2011.
Norwesto stated that the failure to submit annual returns by the prescribed deadline occurred as a result of the previous owner not fully understanding the implications of filing late annual returns.
The CRTC also announced that may not be possible for some of the applicants who responded to its July call for applications for AM radio stations to serve Montréal using the frequencies 690 kHz and 940 kHz, to submit their technical briefs by the 29 August 2011 deadline date and accordingly has amended the requirement to now submit by the deadline documents (demonstrating the beginning of negotiations aiming to obtain access to the proposed transmission site; contour maps showing the proposed coverage contours; and financial evidence of the effect of purchasing or sharing a transmission site.
Proposals will be considered submitted and if clarification is required the issues involved will be dealt with at a public hearing to consider the applications.
A already noted there were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom posted its latest bulletin in which it found three community radio stations in breach of their licence conditions (See RNW Aug 23).
In the US the main news from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted was the scrapping of more rules and regulations including the Fairness Doctrine (See RNW Aug 23)
The FCC also on its own initiative extended by a month from November 1 to December 1 the deadline for radio stations to file their Form 323 biennial ownership reports and posted further information concerning a nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test to last around three minutes and be conducted on Nov 9 at 14:00 EST (See RNW Aug 24)).
In enforcement actions the agency levied or proposed penalties on a number of radio stations but the largest penalty was USD 3,000: Penalties of this amount had been issued to MSG Radio, Inc. and also Luis A. Mejia, assignee of WIAC-FM, San Juan, Puerto Rico, in November 2008 for failing to provide required information on an application for Commission consent to the assignment of the Station's license from Mejia to MSG following an earlier NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in August that year).
Mejia agreed to assign the Station license, the Station call sign, the Station's books and records (including the public inspection file), and goodwill and other "intangibles" associated with the Station, to MSG for the sum of USD 4 million but in their application had said that they did not submit copies of all agreements for the sale of the Station, which would reflect a complete and final understanding between the licensee and assignee.
They had provided details of the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) and Escrow Agreement whereby Media Services Group, Inc. would hold certain deposits contemplated by the Mejia-MSG APA. However, Mejia and MSG stated that a schedule regarding "excluded assets" from the transaction was redacted because it contained "proprietary information not germane to Commission consideration of [the] Application."
No other agreements were listed but in fact the parties had also negotiated an Asset Purchase Agreement dated August 10, 2007, between Bestov Broadcasting, Inc. of Puerto Rico and Madifide, Inc., and an undated Shared Services Agreement between MSG and Madifide.
The agency had found that these agreements should also have been provided to it and issued an NAL of USD 3,000 to each of the parties to which MSG responded by filing a request for cancellation on the basis that a party seeking to assign or transfer its license is not explicitly required to include with its application agreements between the assignee and a third party and also saying that the documents filed did include reference to the MSG-Madifide.
The agency dismissed that request and had now dismissed a petition for reconsideration, saying that the new argument brought forward relating to a different case was "unpersuasive". The penalty was confirmed.
The other penalties were:
*USD 750 NAL to Family Worship Center Church, Inc., licensee of FM Translator Station W208BC, Corning, New York, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The licence has been renewed.
*USD 500 NAL to Faith Community Church, the licensee of FM Translator Station W261AE, Camden, Delaware, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The licence has been renewed.
In non-routine licence renewal decisions the agency has dismissed an application from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church of Ontario, Inc. for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM station to serve Weiser, Idaho: The Church's application had been in a group in which four applicants had applied for a licence to serve Weiser and the agency initially tentatively selected it as the winning bid and dismissed the other applications.
Tool Shed PDX in response filed a petition to deny the grant on the basis that the church lacked reasonable or any assurance of access to the proposed tower site listed in its application and provided an email exchange with representative of the Baker City Field Office for the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management that states that the proposed coordinates appear to be on BLM land, and that BLM has no record of an FCC application being proposed for this parcel.
The church in response contended that it had, at minimum, a good faith belief that it had secured reasonable assurance regarding the availability of the proposed tower site: It explained that that there was a discrepancy between the precise coordinates cited its application and those cited in the letter, and that there was a typographical error in the original application and filed an amendment correcting the coordinates and placing the tower on privately-owned land.
The FCC noted that the record showed that the church had not at the time it submitted its application had reasonable assurance of the site because the parties correspondence showed that there had been no understanding reached about the site's availability. It therefore dismissed the church's application and granted Tool Shed's petition for reconsideration and re-instated its application, thereby making it the new tentative selectee.
In California, Cumulus has been more fortunate with the granting of an application to change the community of licence of its KRRF-FM, Goleta, to Oak View and also change the community of licence of its KRUZ-FM from Santa Barbara to Goleta.
Cumulus argued that the re-allotments satisfy FCC requirements and will provide a first local service to Oak View without depriving Goletta of its only local service whilst removing a 13th local service at Santa Barbara.
The agency agreed and granted the applications but noted that they also need approval by the Mexican authorities because the proposed transmitter site is located within 320 kilometres of the United States-Mexico border.
Previous Licence News:
2011-08-27: Indian state broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) revenues in the year to the end of March were up 18.45% on a year earlier at INR 2.49 billion (USD 53.98 million) according to Indian Televison.com.
It also notes that the Indian government has collected around USD 17.48 billion (USD 379 million) in the period to the end of July this year from Phase I and Phase II of its FM radio licence sales with further revenues to come from the FM Phase III auction.
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Television report:
2011-08-26: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has launched a review of its privacy guidelines for broadcasters and is asking for responses and comment until October 7.
The current guidelines -"The Privacy Guidelines for Broadcasters 2005" - were issued in August 2005 and this will be the first review of them. The agency notes that in its review it has considered the relevant industry codes; the ACMA's broadcasting investigations concerning privacy since August 2005 - it notes that of 43 investigations conducted it found breaches in only three cases; qualitative and quantitative research into attitudes to privacy, commissioned by the ACMA between May and September 2010- research reports Community research into broadcasting and media privacy (2011) and Australians' views on privacy in broadcast news and current affairs (2011) have been posted by the ACMA on its website; the Australian Law Reform Commission's report 108 For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice; and developments in the law.
Australian broadcasting codes are developed by the broadcasters and then submitted to the ACMA for approval and comprise codes developed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) in addition to which there are commercial TV and radio codes.
"Their privacy provisions", says the ACMA, "reflect the balance that must be struck between the media's role in informing the public and the citizen's expectation of privacy."
As regards individuals, public figures it notes are subject to more scrutiny than others but do not forfeit their right to privacy in their personal lives. The guidelines cover the kind of information that may be regarded as private - it can include facts about a person's health, personal relationships, financial affairs, sexual activities, sexual preferences or practices and also information about a person's racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, criminal record and other sensitive personal matters.
They also cover the issue of seclusion regarding this as a matter of places where a person would have a reasonable expectation that his or her activities would not be observed or overheard by others; and a person of ordinary sensibilities would consider the broadcast of these activities to be inappropriate or offensive.
As regards radio, the currently applicable obligations are contained in the Commercial Radio Code of Practice 2010 and Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2008: The first says broadcasters must not use in news or current affairs programmes material that invades an individual's privacy "unless there is a public interest in broadcasting such information" and the second refers to obeying privacy laws by "respecting people's legitimate right to protection from unjustified use of material which is obtained without consent or through an invasion of privacy" and only broadcasting the words of an identifiable person where the individual knew in advance or at the time that the material is likely to be broadcast or where they had been recorded without the individual's knowledge the person involved has indicated agreement to their airing before the broadcast.
ACMA Privacy Guidelines - 22 pages - Word ( 286 kb) or PDF (230KB):
2011-08-26: A Federal judge has partly unsealed documents relating to WJOX-FM, Birmingham. Alabama, host Paul Finebaum's lawsuit against the station's parent Citadel Broadcasting - currently in the process of being taken over by Cumulus - with the Birmingham Business Journal reporting that the host is claiming some USD 75,000 but not yet being able to give details of the lawsuit.
Speculation from sports fans when the suit was filed last month included suggestions that the host was trying to get out of his contract so that he could join Cox Media Group's planned 24-hour sports talk station. The Zone, that is to be launched on Tuesday August 30, using the 97.3 frequency of its new country-format WNCB-FM (The Buck).
The Birmingham News quoted Cox vice president and marketing manager David DuBose, as confirming interest if the host can get out of his contract and saying, "If his situation clears up legally, I guess we would be interested in talking to him."
Cox has said that its new sports station - for which it asking for the calls WZNN - will feature Eli Gold, the University of Alabama play-by-play man and Auburn University analyst Stan White in mornings form 0600-0900 to be followed by the syndicated Tim Brando Show running to noon then former WJOX host Matt Coulter up to 1500. It has not announced what will be in the drivetime slot but will use Yahoo Sports in the evenings, suggesting that to fill the slot it could use Finebaum, whose "Paul Finebaum Radio Network" is syndicated to some 35 stations and airs on WJOX (its current flagship) from 1404-18:00.
The judge gave both parties to the lawsuit until noon today to provide redacted documents concerning the case, allowing them to remove confidential financial and income amounts.
The Business Journal says the case began as two suits - filed July 6 and Aug. 4 in Circuit Court and assigned to Circuit Judge J. Scott Vowell - but then for unknown reasons, it was sealed and transferred to the Alabama Northern District Court, where public records showed it had been assigned to Federal Judge L. Scott Coogler who has now said "it is evident to the court there is no reason for the case to be sealed."
Citadel issued a statement from WJOX General Manager Bill Thomas, in which he said Citadel has a positive and productive relationship with Finebaum, whom Thomas considers a friend, and that he looked forward to Finebaum fulfilling his contract with Citadel, which runs through January 2013.
"I feel very confident that the actions of Citadel and its employees with respect to Paul have been appropriate, and I expect that to be demonstrated if his lawsuit continues," he said.
Finebaum's attorney, Russ Campbell, declined to comment after the case was unsealed.
** Update: Documents now released show that Finebaum is claiming that he was coerced by Citadel into signing an unfavourable amendment to his employment contract by threats to pull his show from the air. As the devil will be in the detail we have opted to give a fairly long summary of the 54 pages of documentation available in PDF form.
The amendment was signed in February after a U.S. bankruptcy court approved a reorganization plan for Citadel and the host's lawyers say in the suit, "Citadel's unconscionable 'take-it-or-leave-it' threat and coercive tactics put Finebaum under extreme duress. Finebaum was left with no viable economic option other than to sign."
The suit alleges that Citadel breached the employment contract by failing to obtain Finebaum's permission before seeking bankruptcy reorganization and protection
The company responded in a letter to Finebaum's attorney by terming the allegations "baseless" and demanding that he provide proof with Citadel's Senior Counsel adding, "Citadel fully expects Mr. Finebaum to continue to honor the commitments to Citadel he willingly and knowingly made when he entered into his employment agreement and the amendments thereto."
The 54 pages of court documents start with a notice from Citadel concerning the removal of jurisdiction from a local court to the US District Court because of a "complete diversity of citizenship between the Plaintiff and Defendant and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of USD 75,000, exclusive of interest and costs."
Citadel is registered in Nevada and Finebaum is an Alabama resident and the document goes on to say that Finebaum does not specify the damages sought but asks for a declaratory judgment, and unspecified award of cots and attorney's fees and "other and further relief as the Court may deem appropriate." The details of the employment contract details, including the percentage of net revenues from the show's network revenues, are redacted.
Documents filed by Finabaum's attorney note that after Citadel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 it agreed a three year extension of the contract in January last year that amongst other things raised Finabaum's annual compensation package and also contained provisions that said Citadel would be in default should it file or a bankruptcy petition be filed against it or enter into various other arrangements related to this or inability to pay debts as they mature. It would also be in default if agreements were entered without consent of the employee.
A May 2010 reorganization plan acknowledged the company's inability to pay its debts as they matured and the company did not obtain Finebaum's consent to or approval of this plan.
They then goes on to note that a further amendment provided to Finebaum in February this year was to Citadel's financial advantage in that it reduced the percentage he got of the Network's revenue, removed a cap on Network expenses and put into the definition of these expense some of Citadel's expenses.
It added that Bill Thomas told Finebaum that the amendment was non-negotiable and that the "Network would be removed its affiliates and Sirius-XM Satellite Radio if it was not signed. There was no consideration offered, nor given, by Citadel for this drastic change, which had great financial impact upon Finebaum."
The attorneys then go on to comment that "Citadel's unconscionable "take it or leave it" threat and coercive tactic put Finebaum under extreme duress. Finebaum was left with no viable economic option other than to sign" and did so on February 16. In June his counsel then sent a letter to Thomas putting Citadel into notice of breach as required by the agreement.
The filing then notes that Citadel has denied breach of the agreement, putting the matter into the hands of the court and goes on to claim that Citadel had indeed breached and defaulted under the terms of the agreement; that the amendment is void; that Citadel has to pay sums wrongfully withheld under the new financial terms imposed; ask that Citadel shall pay the costs of an independent audit to ensure that all the amounts owed are properly returned; and also ask for costs be awarded to Finebaum including filing fees and reasonable attorney fees.
Birmingham Business Journal report:
Updated Business Journal report:
Court documents (Business Journal. 1.78 mb 54 page PDF):
Birmingham News report:
2011-08-25: As part of the restructuring of its radio division Cox Media Group has named new format leaders for its seven radio formats. All will report to CMG's new Director of Radio Programming Steve Smith, whose appointment was announced at the start of this month, and will be members of the strategic team in their assigned genre or region.
Cox says they will "act as internal consultants for CMG's leadership team and will provide insight into specific local formats based on their expertise" and Smith said in a release, "CMG has tapped into the amazing talent that exists within our radio businesses to help chart a even more competitive course that will provide the best music and news/talk formats for our valued listeners."
CMG Group Vice President Ben Reed added, "Industry veteran Steve Smith, who joined CMG last month, will oversee this proven team and will provide a cohesive link between our local markets and our group vice president leadership team."
Those named are:
Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR): Jeremy Rice, BLI 106.1 FM on Long Island
Adult Contemporary (AC): Steve Hunter, CMG Tulsa cluster
Rock: Michael "Shark" Sharkey, WSUN 97X FM and WHPT 102.5 FM The Bone in Tampa
Classic Rock: Steve Smith, who also is CMG's director of programming
Urban: Tony Kidd, CMG Atlanta cluster, and Phil Trueba, WHQT Hot 105 FM in Miami
Country: Len Shackelford, CMG Orlando cluster, and Randy Chase, KCYY 100 FM in San Antonio
News/Talk: Nick Roberts, CMG Ohio in Dayton and Louisville clusters
2011-08-24: U.S. District Judge Harold Baer has approved the settlement that had been agreed by Sirius XM with subscribers who had claimed that the combined satellite company broke US law by raising prices after Sirius merged with XM Satellite Radio.
Some subscribers had claimed that the deal gave too much to the lawyers - who will receive around USD 13 million -and too little to them (See RNW Aug 9).
Judge Baer commented on the lawyers' fees that he had "reviewed the attorney expense sheets as well as the attorney time-keeping records, and found nothing to suggest exorbitant rates nor double billing nor padding of any kind " and added that the accord's terms reflect "sufficient fairness, adequacy and reasonableness".
He also commented that it was "questionable if the subscribers could have proven anti-trust violations, particularly as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had approved the merger.
The cost of the agreement approved is estimated at around USD 180 million: It sprang from a 2009 lawsuit by Florida subscriber Carl Blessing who said that Sirius XM had violated federal antitrust law and state consumer-protection law when it raised some prices and levied a music royalty fee: These extras considerably increased the price of the Sirius XM service - in addition to the base level subscription charge of USD 12.99 a month the company increased from USD 6.99 to USD 8.99 a month the cost of getting the service on an additional receiver; levied a USD 2.99 a month charge for Internet service (subscribers had been able to get the service on the Internet without extra charges); and also charged an extra USD 1.98 a month music royalty fee after it had to pay increased music royalty rates to the recording companies for the music it aired.
Under the deal the company has agreed not to increase charges before the end of this year - it had not said that it would do so but the FCC in July (See RNW Jul 28) had said that it saw no reason to extend the three-year voluntary price caps that the companies had agreed at the time of the merger.
The judge had agreed in March to allow the federal anti-trust claim to proceed as a class action applying to subscribers in the period from July 29, 2008, to July 5, 2011 but not the state-law claims.
Subscribers will not get refunds but those who cancelled will be allowed to reconnect without paying a reconnection fee and those whose plans expire after December 31 will be able to renew before then at current rates.
Sirius XM has not issued any comment on the ruling but its shares ended the day up 3.3% at USD 1.75
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-08-24: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has on its own initiative extended by a month from November 1 to December 1 the deadline for radio stations to file their Form 323 biennial ownership reports.
The forms have to be filed using information current as of October 1 and the agency commented of the extension," In particular, we are aware that some licensees and parent entities of multiple stations may be required to file numerous forms and the extra time is intended to permit adequate time to prepare such filings. We believe it is in the public interest to provide additional time to ensure that all filers provide the Commission with accurate and reliable data on which the Commission may rely for research and other purposes."
The FCC has also posted further information concerning a nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test to last around three minutes and be conducted on Nov 9 at 14:00 EST. The test include transmission by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of a "live" Emergency Action Notification (EAN) code to all EAS Participants and notice to the general public that the EAS has been activated for a national emergency, along with an audible notice that "this is a test."
The agency adds that it and FEMA, in conjunction with broadcasters and cable providers, are engaged in efforts aimed at informing the general public that the November 9 test will be just that - a test.
2011-08-24: US author Stephen King, who owns Zone Radio, in Bangor, Maine has announced that he is to launch a new "to the left" show on his two stations, saying in a rare news conference that he hopes the show will "burn some feet."
"The Pulse Morning Show", to launch on September 12 on WZON-AM and FM, is to be hosted by Pat LaMarche a Green party vice-presidential candidate in 2004, and Don Cookson, a former reporter and communications director under Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap.
The Bangor Daily News (which has posted video of the conference) reported that King, who was born in Portland, said the show would balance the conservative leanings of other stations in Maine and he hoped that it would produce "all-day, in-depth coverage of Maine events, Maine news, Maine politics and really try to get beneath the surface."
LaMarche, who was the vice presidential candidate in 2004 under Ralph Nader for the Green Party, said the show would target politicians and public officials in Augusta and Washington, D.C., who push around Maine residents, especially those struggling with the welfare system.
"Nothing is more fun than standing up to a bully," said LaMarche. "There's an awful lot of bullying going on out there right now."
King added, "We're going to try to be informative. We're gonna be provocative. We're going to be amusing, and we're going to try to be a positive community force We'd like to burn some feet once in a while - make some people a little bit angry. There are some people who deserve to be taken to the woodshed from time to time."
The launch show airs a day after the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and the paper quotes LaMarche as saying it is likely to focus on how that day affected Mainers.
The first show will start a collection of gas and grocery gift cards for the Wounded Warrior Project to help veterans, servicemen and servicewomen and their families and Cookson commented, "Unfortunately, we're in a situation and we're in a time when there are a lot of people in need of that help."
LaMarche added, "It is staggering to think that people can go and be willing to pay the ultimate price and come home unable to feed themselves or get the fuel to get to their doctor."
RNW Note: Unsurprisingly the report attracted a large number of comments (more than 450 when we last checked) many of which came from the usual partisan mob with various attacks on left-wing or "liberal" (US politically-biased perversion of the original meaning of the word) radio, predictions of failure, and responses to these posts.
Bangor Daily News report (Has embedded video of the news conference.):
2011-08-23: UK Media Regulator Ofcom has found three community radio stations in breach of their licence conditions in its latest Broadcast Bulletin and upheld one other radio complaints against another community radio station.
The three are Radio Sandwell, which serves West Bromwich and the surrounding area of Sandwell; Boundary Sound, a community radio service for Newark-on-Trent, and Angel Radio Isle of Wight.
Radio Sandwell is licensed to provide a service for the African Caribbean community and other residents of West Bromwich and the surrounding area of Sandwell and has been on the air since May last year. Following complaints it had been found to have been playing recorded programming only although its licence requires ten hours of live output a day, and was earlier found to have breached licence conditions by failing to provide information about the matter and subsequently, putting the breach down to a move of location, admitted that aired pre-recorded output for a "total of seven weeks from Friday 25th February 2011 to Wednesday April 13th 2011".
Boundary Sound, which went on air on 1 January 2009 went off air on June 23 this year and announced the closure "due to financial circumstances beyond our control" on its website. In response to Ofcom enquiries the station confirmed that it was not broadcasting and that on June 23 "the bailiff telephoned and [said] that transport was on the way to remove goods and equipment from the station. This subsequently happened and therefore Boundary Sound was no longer able to broadcast".
Angel Radio Isle of Wight has been on air since March 2007 and on 21 July 2011 Ofcom's attention was drawn to an online newspaper article which stated that Angel Radio was appealing for funds to help get the station back on air after its receiver broke down. The station confirmed that it did not broadcast any output at all between 17 July and the morning of 20 July, after which it had been broadcasting pre-recorded and automated output via a laptop computer connected directly to the transmitter.
This breached its commitments that include a requirement to provide six to eight hours of live output a day.
Ofcom also upheld a Standards complaint against Leeds Community Radio, which had been asked following a complaint to provide a recording of its output for May 3 this year and had failed to respond within the deadline given and a subsequent additional deadline. Further requests by letter, email and phone calls failed to get licensee Leslie Cooke to provide a recording that included the programme complained of - although a recording was eventually provided - or provide valid reasons why he had not done so. The licensee later apologised for the delay in responding, putting it down to the Licensee?s manager having been away.
The station had been broadcasting under a restricted service licence ("RSL") granted for the period 22 April and 19 May 2011 and Ofcom as well as ruling that there had been a breach of licence conditions said that intended to monitor closely "the compliance with licence conditions of this Licensee going forward, should he or individuals formally associated with this RSL licence, apply for a licence to broadcast in the future."
In addition to the radio breaches, Ofcom upheld standards complaints involving three TV broadcasters and advertising scheduling cases involving three more TV broadcasters and gave details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint that was not upheld. It also found one TV channel to have exceeded the time allowed for time devoted to television advertising and teleshopping spots and considered resolved another case, which resulted from schedule changes related to a strike and live programming combined with equipment problems. A further case related to the number of breaks in a film (movie) arose from transmission in an incorrect file format and was also considered resolved through action subsequently taken.
The figures compare with no radio complaints upheld in the last bulletin in which two TV standards complaints were upheld and details given of another TV standards complaint and two TV fairness and privacy complaints not upheld as well as of various advertising minutage complaints upheld and a number of advertising minutage complaints considered resolved through action taken by the broadcaster.
The bulletin also contained details of stations that have still failed to submit annual reports as required despite repeated requests and gave notice that it was considering sanctions on those involved - three community radio stations (Boundary Sound, which as noted above has closed down; TMCR, Thorne and Moorends (South Yorkshire); and Voice of Africa Radio, East London.
A further seven community stations have supplied reports after the required deadline and their cased were considered resolved: The stations concerned were Cheshire FM, mid Cheshire; Cross Rhythms Teesside, Stockton on Tees; Felixstowe Radio, Felixstowe; NE1 FM; Radio JCom, Leeds; Swindon 105.5, Swindon; and Unity FM, Birmingham East.
In addition to the above, Ofcom listed 475 TV complaints against 31 items (480 of them against a programme "The Joy of Teenage Sex") and two radio complaints against two radio items that were investigated but not upheld - compared to 35 TV complaints against 13 items and no radio complaints in the previous bulletin.
It also listed a further 251 TV complaints against 154 items and 19 radio complaints against 19 items that were assessed but not further investigated - this compares with 122 TV complaints against 111 items and 1 radio complaints (15 of them against one talkSPORT item) against 24 items in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2011-08-23: Inner City Media Corp. chairman Pierre Sutton scuttled a proposed pre-packaged bankruptcy that would have paid unsecured creditors in full to gain a better deal for himself according to a Reuters report giving details of the plea put forward by thee creditors of the company to put it into bankruptcy (See RNW Aug 20)
The three creditors - Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Corporate Initiatives Fund II LP, Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund Ltd and Fortress Credit Funding I LP - say they are owed USD 254 million and that under the pre-packaged deal Sutton would have had a five-year employment agreement with a USD 600,000 annual salary but that he wanted more.
They also say their deal would have paid unsecured creditors in full, and allowed a small payment to equity holders, which Reuters notes is unusual when a company is insolvent.
Pierre Sutton is the son of civil rights lawyer Percy Sutton and president of New York's Manhattan borough who formed the company, which through Inner City Broadcasting built up a holding of radio stations including WLIB-AM, New York, its first station plus WBLS-FM in New York and other stations in California, South Carolina and Mississippi.
The creditors say that Pierre Sutton rejected the proposed deal to gain a bigger payout and also brought in new directors and replaced restructuring advisers who had recommended the pre-packaged bankruptcy plan.
Under the arrangement creditors would have been paid; the lenders would have taken most of the company's equity and reduced their debt; and shareholders would have received USD 1.2 million in cash, a 2 percent stake in the company, and warrants for 6 percent of the common stock; and stock options of management.
So far Inner City has made no comment that we have seen and a number of reports say its lawyer did not return calls about the matter.
"On the eve of moving forward with this orderly Chapter 11 filing, the parent company of the Alleged Debtors, at the behest of the parent company's chairman, Mr. Pierre Sutton, forced the Alleged Debtors to back out of this deal, apparently to seek a greater recovery for himself and other existing shareholders," according to the filing.
"This decision was inexplicable, given that negotiation of the restructuring proposal had been ongoing for several months. Moreover, Mr. Sutton engineered removal of incumbent boards of directors at the Alleged Debtors and put in place new 'professional' directors. And, after having gone through months of negotiations, existing restructuring advisors either were dismissed or resigned and replaced with new 'hired guns.'"
The board members who were dropped were Charles Warfield, Lois Wright, and Edwin Shirley, who had voted for the re-structuring package, and the filing continues, "Mr. Sutton apparently proceeded to disavow the restructuring proposal. Thus, after over two years without any debt service payments, over one year of maturity, and several months of protracted, good faith negotiations with the debtors, the Senior Lenders have commenced these Chapter 11 cases reluctantly, as a method of last resort to preserve the value of the Collateral for all stakeholders and to drive an otherwise stagnate default situation forward to a successful resolution."
RNW note: As per our earlier report Pierre Sutton appears to have played political cards effectively in preventing an earlier bankruptcy of the company. The circumstances that allowed him to do this have now changed and we suspect he has overplayed his hand.
Previous Inner City:
2011-08-22: Not quite a bonfire of all the rules but US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski has announced that 83 outdated rules have been consigned to the past including the Fairness Doctrine, subject of considerable comment from Conservative radio hosts over recent years.
Genachowski, who has already publicly stated his opposition to the Fairness Doctrine which has not been applied for more than two decades, stated in a news release, "Our extensive efforts to eliminate outdated regulations are rooted in our commitment to ensure that FCC rules and policies promote a healthy climate for private investment and job creation. I'm proud of the work we are doing toward our goal of being model of excellence in government."
He continued, "The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead. The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books."
Genachowski noted that the latest action is addition to some 50 rules already scrapped: Amongst those going as well as the Fairness Doctrine rules to be scrapped include the deletion of obsolete "broadcast flag," cable programming service tier rate, and broadcast applications and proceedings rules.
More are to follow - Genachowski also commented, "Our work is not done. I have directed each bureau at the FCC to conduct a review of rules within their areas with the goal of eliminating or revising rules that are outdated or place needless burdens on businesses. We are also in the process of developing a retrospective review plan, pursuant to the recent Executive Order. We will continue on this regulatory reform track thoughtfully and diligently conducting our reviews of existing rules and taking other important steps to meet our statutory obligation and mission in a way that grows our economy, creates jobs and benefits all Americans."
The FCC also issued a USD 10,000 forfeiture to Patrick Michael Ford of
Fort Myers, Florida, for operation of an unlicensed radio transmitter. It had issued Ford with a NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for this amount in May in a run of FCC actions against Florida Pirate DJs (See RNW May 5) but received no response and has confirmed the penalty.
2011-08-22: Eight finalists, chosen from some 300 applicants, have been named for the Australian commercial radio industry's New Artist 2 Radio (NA2R) awards this year: They will all attend a radio workshop with leading commercial program and music directors and music marketing professionals in Sydney on September 9, where two winners will be announced.
The awards, organized by Commercial Radio Australia, are now in their tenth year and the body's chief executive Joan Warner commented, "Commercial radio has always supported new Australian music talent and has been key to raising the profile, and enhancing the careers, of many Australian artists This initiative provides unsigned artists with some fantastic tools, contacts and insights to help them break into commercial radio and the music industry."
The chosen two will then perform at the NA2R showcase event to be held on the Gold Coast on October 14 in front of key music and program directors with one of the winners being invited to perform at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards on October 15.
The finalists are:
Stone Parade - five-piece rock band
Nine Sons of Dan - rock band from the Gold Coast
Taylor and the Makers - three piece band playing a mix of blues, roots and reggae
Danielle Blakey - Sydney based pop/country singer/songwriter
Barry Southgate - singer/songwriter who fuses pop and soul music
The Glass Ceiling - Sydney indie rock act known for its raw edge
The Stellar Affect - four-piece band from Sydney
Bellusira - Melbourne based rock band
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-08-21: Last week was extremely quiet as regards radio for the regulators with only one posting in Australia, none in Ireland or the UK and only a few from North America.
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that it is to make frequencies available at Charlotte Pass for an additional transmitter for the Cooma commercial radio broadcasters 2XL (92.5 MHz) and 2SKI (91.7 MHz), both of which are providing services to the region on temporary retransmission licenses.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) voted with Commissioner Peter Menzies dissenting about Canadian music content requirements, to implement its revised policy for both campus and community radio from the start of next month (See RNW Aug 18).
The agency also approved an application from Rawlco Radio Ltd to relocate the transmitter of its English-language commercial station CIUP-FM, Edmonton, Alberta, and increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 148.4 to 272 meters.
The change will allow Rawlco, which is also the licensee of CKNO-FM Edmonton, to co-locate the technical facilities of both stations.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland or the UK and in the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a quiet week as regards radio. The agency did post its complaints figures for the last three quarters of 2010 showing a very large drop in complaints compared to the first quarter - put down to an absence in the later periods of orchestrated complaints against particular programmes (See RNW Aug 20).
It also gave notice that 2011 regulatory feeds have to be paid no later than September 14.
Previous Licence News:
2011-08-20: Inner City Media's creditors have filed an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition according to Bloomberg, which says the filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan lists a total of USD 254 million of debt.
Inner City through Inner City Broadcasting, owns urban-formatted radio stations WLIB-AM and WBLS-FM in New York, plus other stations in California, South Carolina and Mississippi including KBLX-FM, San Francisco.
In May it was reported that a group including basketball Hall of Famer, Earvin "Magic" Johnson's Magic Johnson Enterprises and Ron Burkle's private equity Yucaipa Companies were taking over ICBC's debts of more than USD 230 million from Goldman Sachs and GE Capital.
Goldman Sachs and GE Capital had been pushing for repayment of the debt on which ICBC had been missing interest payments and ICBC's chairman and CEO Pierre "Pepe" Sutton (son of former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, who built up ICBC) put political pressure on them to call the financial pressure on the company - portraying it as a hard-hit minority broadcaster - through comments in a New York Daily News column and enlisting the help of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Obama administration needed the support of the Caucus to get proposed legislation passed and Goldman, the lead creditor, renewed negotiations about the debt. The sale of the debt eased that pressure and because of Johnson's involvement also kept a significant black personality involved in the media company.
The new creditors would seem less susceptible to political pressure.
Previous Inner City:
2011-08-20: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now released complaints figures for the second, third and final quarters of last year
In the second quarter the total number of complaints in the top four reported categories was down by more than 60% on the first quarter - from 177,589 to 69,064 within which broadcasting complaints fell by more than 80% - from 132,416 to 25,162, mainly because the first quarter included 127,655 Programming - Indecency/Obscenity" complaints made in January following orchestrated campaigns (See RNW Aug 13, 2010).
In the second quarter the total of broadcasting complaints was 25,162 with the majority related to Programming - Indecency/Obscenity- Totals of 1,294 in April of which 769 concerned Programming - Indecency/Obscenity; 22,710 in May of which 22,031 concerned Programming - Indecency/Obscenity; and 1,158 in June of which 672 concerned Programming - Indecency/Obscenity.
In the third quarter the total again fell - down by more than 30% overall from 69,064 in the second quarter to 47,947 in the top four reported categories with broadcasting complaints down nearly 90% from 25,162 to 2,611. Again campaigns against particular programmes in May had accounted for most of the second quarter complaints.
In the third quarter broadcasting complaints were evenly distributed and for once the "other" programming complaints total neared that of those for Indecency/Obscenity-950 against 958: In one month "other complaints" exceeded the Indecency/Obscenity ones with 411 compared to 302 out of a total of 985 in July. For August the corresponding totals were 268 to 271 from 748 and for September 271 to 385 out of 878.
The pattern was broken in the final quarter with a slight increase - of 1% from 47,947 to 48,469 in all but with a 19% increase in broadcasting complaints from 2,611 to 3,116.
As in the third quarter "other" complaints totalled nearly as many as those of Indecency/Obscenity ones and in two months exceeded them: In October out of 1,314 complaints 528 were "other" and 505 Indecency/Obscenity ones with corresponding totals of 1,045 , 430 and 382 in November; and 757, 194, 386 in December.
Previous FCC Complaints figures (Final quarter of 2009):
2011-08-19: US radio revenues in the second quarter of this year grew for the sixth consecutive quarter although the growth slowed down - and reversed for spot revenues which went into negative territory - according to figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
It says that overall revenues were up 1% compared to a year ago to USD 4.581 billion - first quarter revenues were up 3% - and for the first six months are up 2% to USD 8.364 million.
Within the figures as in other periods the greatest percentage growth came from Digital - up 18% to USD 185 million for the quarter and 19% to USD 334 million for the first six months. This was followed by off-air, which was up 5% for the quarter to USD 392 million and 7% for the first six months to USD 704 million. Network revenues were up 3% to USD 282 million and 2% to USD 542 million respectively but spot revenues were down 1% to USD 3.722 billion and are now flat for the first six months at USD 6.784 million.
The top five revenue generators for the quarter (based on spot spending) were
Communications/Cellular at USD 341 millions; Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups/ Manufacturers at USD 330 millions; Restaurants at USD 317 millions; Television/Networks/Cable Providers at USD 305 millions; and Beverages at USD 270 millions
In terms of percentage increases the best performers in the quarter were Department/Discount Stores & Shopping Centers - up 34% to USD 154.0 million; Insurance Companies- up 29% to USD 187.1 million; Television/Networks/Cable Providers - up 21% to USD 304.7 million; Financial Services - Up 11% to USD 295.7 million; and Beverages - up 10% to USD 297.0 million.
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley commented, "It's clear that the diversified revenue mix radio broadcasters have created is paying off in a static spot environment. Contrary to what you might think regarding recent market woes, many of the nation's largest marketers are forecasting increases in media expenditures through the end of 2011. Companies like P&G, AT&T and Coca-Cola have all reported upcoming campaign support for various products and Fiat is reintroducing its vehicles to the U.S. - all which could mean more revenue for Radio. This should inspire us to dig in to capitalize on these opportunities to strengthen our bottom line as we close out 2011."
2011-08-19: Townsquare Media, in which funds controlled by Oaktree Capital are the majority shareholders, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Millennium Radio Holdings, LLC that it announced in May (See RNW May 9), adding to its holdings 11 radio stations, a state-wide news network and related websites in 3 New Jersey markets.
The acquisition takes it station total to 176 radio stations and related websites in 38 markets, making it the fourth largest owner of radio stations in the United States and still in the works is an acquisition of Double O (See RNW Aug 10 and Aug 8) that will take this up to own 202 radio stations and related websites in 43 markets.
Townsquare Media Chairman and CEO Steven Price commented in a release, "The acquisition ofillennium is consistent with our strategy of owning market leading media properties in small and mid-sized markets. We are excited to continue to add premier assets to our portfolio including, New Jersey's leading talk radio station, WKXW 101.5. The strength and depth of the Millennium team is an excellent addition to Townsquare Media and we are excited to add new advertisers and to broaden our audience reach."
Zoe Burdine-Fly, who joined Millennium on July 20, 2011 from her previous role as Market Manager of Townsquare Media's Flint station cluster, will continue to oversee the Millennium operations and will report to Erik Hellum, Executive Vice President, Radio, for Townsquare Media.
2011-08-19: BBC Radio 2 has announced that it is to end the Sunday "Alan Titchmarsh With Melodies For You" (1900-20: 30) programme on Sunday August 28 after four-and-a-half years on air. Titchmarsh will continue to present on the network and the station is currently in discussions with him about presenting a series on operetta and hosting a run of Friday Night Is Music Night - the world's longest-running live music performance programme.
The timeslot is to be used in the short-term for a variety of new programmes starting on September 4 with a show, recorded in Los Angeles this month and featuring Barbra Streisand in conversation with Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black.
Other programming in the slot will include Barry Manilow's "They Write The Songs" which includes episodes on Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein; Tony Bennett's Great American Songbook; The Bob Hope Trail; and The Alan and Marilyn Bergman Story featuring their music from classic movies and Broadway hits. Titchmarsh is to remain with the station and
In the longer-term says the station it will be looking at opportunities to increase the audience to this range of music across the network.
Radio 2 Controller Bob Shennan commented of his plans and the decision to move Titchmarsh, whose contract was up for renewal, ", I am taking the opportunity to review the way that Radio 2 presents popular classic and light music, to make sure we bring it to the widest possible audience in a way that best delivers value for money. I know that many listeners enjoy popular classic and light music, so we will initially broadcast some classic series on Sunday evenings while we look at further ways of celebrating the music on the network."
2011-08-19: LBI Media, Inc. has reported second quarter revenues up 3% to USD 31.5 million with half-year revenues up 5% to USD 57.0 million with the rises driven by TV whilst radio was down in both periods.
For the quarter TV revenues were up 14% to USD 16.3 million whilst radio was down 7% to USD 1.2 million a fall put down as "primarily attributable to softness" in the company's Texas markets.
For the first six months TV was up 17% to USD 30.5 million whilst radio was down 6% to USD 16.5 million.
Total operating expenses were down by 3% for the quarter to USD 24.5 million but up 9% for the first six months to USD 44.2 million with the increase put down to various costs related to LBI's Estrella TV network partially offset by a USD 1.8 million reduction in impairment charges and a USD 900,000 gain related to a legal settlement.
Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was up 5% to USD 10.3 million and down by 13% for the first six months to USD 14.6 million - LBI says that but for one off items it would have risen by 2% - and a net loss for the quarter of USD 1.3 million in 2010 nearly tripled to a loss of USD 3.8 million this year and for the first six months rose proportionately by nearly as much - up from USD 3.8 million to USD 10.2 million.
Commenting on the results CEO and President Lenard Liberman singled out TV's "strong revenue growth" and concluded, "With the strength of our internally produced programming and our owned and operated radio and television assets in the most attractive Hispanic markets, we believe that we are positioned for the future and trust we will continue to outperform our competitors."
2011-08-18: Smooth Jazz has returned to Orlando in Florida on the 102.5 frequency, albeit at a much lower 250 watts power than the 22,000 watts 103.1 signal on WLOQ-FM, which was flipped at the start of this month to a Spanish format following its sale by Gross Communications to TTB Media Corporation last month for just above USD 8 million in cash. TTB is currently operating the station under a time brokerage agreement.
The new signal comes from Broadcast Architecture's feed and uses a translator owned byFlorida Educational Foundation and fed by Clear Channel Radio which is simulcasting the signal on tthe HD2 signal ofits AC 107.7 WMGF-FM (Magic 107.7). Broadcast Architecture's President cum owner Allen Kepler estimates that it will reach more than 200,000 listeners.
A posting this morning on Facebook said of the launch, "Bryan Wanted to let you know that we've just launched a new Smooth Jazz station in Orlando. Still building it, but you'll be able to hear it on the air on 102.5 in parts of the market. If you have an HD radio, you can find it on 107.7 HD-2 anywhere in Central FL. And, we should have the live stream up in a few minutes. (RNW Note: The site indicates that the stream is up and running but being outside the US it is unavailable to us)"
Broadcast Architecture has been behind the revival of the format - dropped by the major operators in most markets including New York (the former WQCD that became WRXP in February 2008), Chicago (WNUA - became a Mega Spanish pop outlet in February 2008) and KKSF (San Francisco - flipped to classic rock in May 2009) - with its feed being aired in a number of cities including Anchorage, Chicago, Detroit, and Reno.
Previous Clear Channel:
Smooth Jazz 102.5:
Smooth Jazz 102.5 Facebook page:
2011-08-18: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has voted with Commissioner Peter Menzies dissenting about Canadian music content requirements, to implement its revised policy for both campus and community radio from the start of next month.
Menzies argued for more Canadian content than called for by the policy that will amongst other requirements maintain the current levels of Canadian musical selections for campus and community radio stations: Under the regulations they have to devote at least 35% of musical selections from content category 2 (Popular Music) and at least 12% of musical selections from content category 3 (Special Interest Music) to Canadian selections.
In his dissent, Menzies commented, "There is no longer a compelling argument as to why community and campus radio licensees should not support the country that supports them by dedicating at least 40%-if not 50%-of their musical selections to the music of Canada."
His arguments he said argument focuses on the Anglophone sector as there are differences in the structure and funding of the Francophone sector in Quebec but there was "no reason to exclude the Francophone/Quebec sector from the argument. Indeed, given the high priority and necessity for the preservation and promotion of Canada's Francophone culture, this specific argument in terms of Canadian content expectations is even more vital."
He said that to understand the perspective "it is necessary to understand the original purpose of community and campus radio", which he said was launched during social upheaval in the 1960s with the intention to give access to broadcasting to those with alternative voices, who at the time had to rely on letters to the editors of newspapers, calling talk radio stations and perhaps being interviewed for TV, all of which many believed to be non-receptive to counter-cultural and alternative perspectives.
The Internet he commented had changed this situation and the power of mainstream media "has been massively diminished if not entirely eradicated. In short, community and campus radio is no longer democratically necessary, at least for the achievement of its original purpose."
Accordingly he took the view that the "raison d'être [for campus and community radio] has been swept away by time and technology" and that it is necessary for "community and campus radio to prove its cultural usefulness as a crucible for the development of Canadian talent."
Noting that the musical content demands for this sector were no greater than for the commercial sector apart from that for Special Interest Music and that music from other countries was available via the Internet, Menzies that it was unfortunate that "neither the sector nor the Commission at this stage can see that, in the future, that which is no longer necessary for one outdated 20th century purpose (a space for alternative voices) will need to be useful in the 21st century for another (developing Canadian talent) and that a system entirely supported by Canadians should aspire to be ever more supportive of Canada's creative community."
2011-08-18: Defending the output of his company's New York News radio WEMP 101.9 FM - the former Emmis WXRP-FM (Rock 101.9) frequency - Merlin Media's COO Walter Sabo has not only defended its output but also predicted that "ultimately we will be a top-five station among 25- to 54-year-olds."
Sabo told David Hinckley of the New York Daily News the station sounds "pretty good" for its first week on the air and said that contrasted with "posts on several local radio message boards, which have called the new WEMP (101.9 FM) a mistake-riddled disaster that has no idea what its 'news' should be."
Some listeners comments he suggested might be made simply because the station is doing news radio in a different manner to others in the market: He termed competitor all-news outputs WCBS-AM and WINS "terrific stations" but then went on "but we are targeting a different audience. We want to reach an under-50 audience of men and women working and raising families in the area. So we are redefining both the definition of news and the presentation."
"To our listener, a story on the economy is not about a trillion-dollar deficit. It's 'Will I get fired?' or 'If my car breaks down, can I afford the repair?'" continued Sabo adding, "We want to move every story immediately to what it means for the listener. We're sharing, not preaching."
He also defended the stations conversational tone in which anchors or reporters interject comment such as "Thankfully" or "Duh!" and said these are not discouraged but "There is a balance. It's something we're working on."
Sabo went on to defend the station's credibility against critics - at the weekend it declared Michelle Bachman to be the "Republican front-runner following the Iowa straw poll - saying it has "top news people" but that listeners also wanted frequent lifestyle and "how-to" reports and lots of traffic and weather.
Of traffic he commented, "We don't put traffic on a clock. We give it as long as it needs. Our listener has to get the kids to school and make the meeting at work."
Predicting success he referred back to criticism of the formats of New Jersey 101.5 when it was launched (with a branding emphasising New Jersey and frequent traffic and weather, the former identifying traffic as "entering" or "leaving" New Jersey) as "insane" and of the ridiculing of WFAN when it was launched.
"Spoken-word formats take time to build," he added. "But this company knows that and will be patient. We expect that ultimately we will be a top-five station among 25- to 54-year-olds."
RNW comment: Difficult when listening to fairly intelligent radio in the UK (BBC World Service and Radio 4) to assess a station like WEMP but Sabo's comments about a listener's interests in the economy being not the deficit but keeping a job or affording auto repairs are rather simplistic since the inter-reaction between the former and the latter demand very complicated technical analysis - the station reports on Bachman would suggest that its staff probably aren't qualified to assess even fairly simple technical economic analysis - and are exceedingly contentious, particularly when listeners are likely to include many ignorant partisan bigots prone to shouting loudly and judging everything by their political beliefs on what should be rather than what is demonstrably happening.
We agree with him in that many if not most listeners would regard how they are likely to be affected as of more interest than the complicated analysis but without the analysis, the message is propaganda.
Equally when it comes to editorial comment through interjections, he has a point in that it is very clear that many of his audience will find this attractive but the question of balance is vital if there is to be credibility in reporting. We will be interested to see if a demonstrable imbalance develops in the news reporting comments but would also not that often we find news reports on radio and TV round the world using adjectives that would be best eliminated as they do damage the credibility of the report -as an example a US network news report we listened to yesterday that included comments on an increase in child poverty in the US and then went on to say that as the economy had worsened since they came out and states had cut back on programmes to aid the poor they were "likely" worse now. (Maybe Duh!) Perhaps that reporter could demonstrate a scenario in which in such circumstances child poverty would be reduced? If not, a straight statement on the subsequent changes of economic weakening and cutbacks would suffice as surely most listeners or viewers would be able to work out the likely effect of these changes.
New York Daily News report:
2011-08-17: BBC Radio 2 is to bring Sir Jimmy Young, who was on the station from 1973 to the end of 2002, back for a special one-hour show on September 20 to mark his 90th birthday.
The programme, to air at 22: 00, will feature Young talking to current Radio 2 morning (09: 30 to noon) host Ken Bruce about his life and career.
Young, born Leslie Ronald Young on September 21, 1921 in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, was in the Royal Air Force from 1942 to 1949 and after leaving with the rank of sergeant went into pop music, signing with then new-label Polygon in 1950.
His biggest hit for the label was "Too Young" in 1951. He moved on to join Decca in 1952 with whom he had top ten chart successes with "Eternally", "Chain Gang" and "More" and in 1955 he had to number one hits with "Unchained Melody" (from the film Unchained) and "The Man from Laramie" (from the film of the same name).
Young made his debut on BBC Radio in 1949 and went on to present Housewives' Choice in 1960. He then broadcast on Radio Luxembourg for several years, as well as broadcasting regularly on the Light Programme, before becoming part of the original presenting team which launched BBC Radio 1 in 1967.On the station he presented the weekday mid-morning show until 1973 when he moved to Radio 2.
After the station dropped him Young became a newspaper columnist for the Sunday Express - making it clear in his first column that he had been pushed out (he had been offered a weekend show after he left his noon-1400 weekday show and the BBC said that he had at first accepted this but then changes his mind and opted to leave the Corporation): He commented of his return in a BBC news release - which refers to him leaving his show, "It's great to be making a programme for Radio 2 - especially with my mate Ken Bruce."
2011-08-17: The 25-years-old man who had been involved in a stand-off for six days after he climbed onto a Clear Channel radio tower in Tulsa on Thursday last week, has finally surrendered himself to the authorities.
William Sturdivant II gave himself up around 18: 40 on Tuesday and was lowered from the tower in a bucket. Negotiations with Sturdivant, who has a history of mental illness had been aired live by local station NewsOn6 and on a number of occasions during the afternoon it had seemed as if the saga would end as he shook hands with the police negotiator Tyrone Lynn and even stepped into the bucket for a sip of water.
Lynn told local ABC station KTUL that Sturdivant started to pass out and I had to grab him to keep him from falling, so for a minute there he was just completely out. So I was just holding on to him, then he kind of snapped back into it and then we started over again."
"We finally assured him that you know everybody down here was rooting for him and that this was a day that he can win and we forgive him and nobody's upset with him and that when we got down we were going to get him some help," added Lynn.
Sturdivant was taken to a Tulsa hospital and was listed in serious condition on Tuesday night.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-08-16: Following the recent switches of a number of US music stations to news formats (See RNW Aug 16), Nashville is now to lose 100,000 watts Hot AC WPRT-FM (The Party) to sports as 102.5 The Game.
Owner the Cromwell Group has not given a firm date for the flip and but Bizjournals quoted Cromwell Group President Bayard "Bud" Walters as saying "Preparations are underway on several fronts to make this format change happen as soon as possible."
So far only one show has been announced for the sports station - "The First Quarter" to run from 1800-2200 and feature radio personality Darren McFarland and former Tennessee Titans tackle Brad Hopkins.
Cromwell's Nashville Operations Manager Troy Hanson commented of the duo, who currently host the midday slot on WNSR-AM, "Brad and Darren have a great chemistry on the air and tons of contacts in the community. It's obvious from listening they both devote a lot of time to show preparation."
Southern Wabash Communications of Middle Tennessee, Inc.'s WNSR was the back-up for NHL's Nashville Predators, airing their games when the team's formerprimary affiliate Citadel-owned WGFX-FM had conflicting commitments.
WGFX lost the Predators last year when the team switched to Cromwell'sactive rock W-BUZ (102-9 The Buzz) in September last year and the new station is expected to become the team's radio home.
2011-08-16: Tajik authorities have opened and then adjourned until Thursday the trial of BBC World Service reporter Urunboy Usmonov who was arrested in June and accused of associating with banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (See RNW Jun 16),
Usmonov, who is 59, was subsequently detained for a month and released on bail (See RNW July 14): He has consistently denied the charges and the BBC, which says the charges are unfounded, has said that it believes meetings and interviews with people representing all shades of opinion are part of the work of any BBC journalist.
Four other defendants accused of extremism are being tried along with Usmonov, who remains on bail and his lawyer told the BBC the others appeared in a cage in the courtroom but Usmonov did not. The others, said d the lawyer, have partially admitted guilt whilst Usmonov reaffirmed his total innocence.
The hearing took place in a detention centre at in the northern Tajik city of Khujand as opposed to a regular courtroom and three journalists were allowed at the hearing.
BBC report re trial:
2011-08-16: Jay Severin, who was fired by Greater Media's WTTK-FM following his comments about bedding young women who worked for him (See RNW Apr 6) is to return to the Boston airwaves in his old afternoon drive slot on Thursday on Clear Channel's WXKS-AM (Talk 1200) according to the station's web site.
Its posting quotes Severin as saying, "I am a fan, friend, and follower of TALK 1200'S Jeff Katz, Glenn Beck, Rush and Sean Hannity. It is a great honour to become a member of this team. I'm excited to talk issues with the world's best and brightest listeners each and every day."
WXKS program director Paula O'Connor commented, "Jay's addition to our team solidifies the strongest talk radio line-up in Boston. With Jeff Katz in the morning, Jay Severin and national powerhouse Sean Hannity back-to-back on your drive home, New Englanders will have the best local and national coverage on the dial."
Mary Menna, Clear Channel Radio president and market manager for Boston and Providence, told the Boston Herald, "Jay will be a force to be reckoned with. Jay has a proven track record as one of Boston's top radio hosts for over a decade. We are fortunate to add him to the TALK 1200 team."
The host himself told the paper his new employers have told him to be himself, adding, "That stands in profoundly stark contrast to the last set of directions I received."
Previous Clear Channel:
Boston Herald report:
WXKS-AM Severin welcome:
2011-08-16: The 25-years-old Tulsa man who climbed onto a Clear Channel radio tower last Thursday morning and has so far resisted police attempts to cajole him down has been named as William Sturdivant II.
His story, which we reported at the weeken (See RNW Aug 14), has now spread to papers round the world including the UK Daily Mail which headlines its report "Man stays on top of radio tower crowing like a rooster for five days in stand-off with police."
Newson6, which carried his name in a later report, says that today he climbed about half way down the tower at one point and could also be seen taking brief naps.
It adds that Tulsa Fire Department raised a bucket to Sturdivant on Monday morning and he requested a Sprite, Dr Pepper, Rooster Booster and a cappuccino.
Negotiators talked to him for several hours and he police are asking people to stay away from the scene, saying say that in some cases spectators have hampered attempts to get him to come down. Some of the residents have complained that the authorities are wasting money trying to save him.
Newson6 quoted Captain Ryan Perkins of the Tulsa Police as saying, "We've had a couple of times when we've made some progress with him and then the crowd will start yelling and screaming things, it will distract him, and we'll regress and go 12 hours back in time with the progression that we've made with him. We don't want people yelling, screaming, taking pictures. We would like people to, basically ignore him."
Previous Clear Channel:
UK Daily Mail report:
2011-08-15: Two more US FMs are switching from rock to speech this week - the former Emmis WRXP FM (Rock 101.9) was flipped to 24-hour news by new operators Merlin Media as WEMP-FM (FM News 101.9) today and Cox Media is to drop rock on its WHTQ-FM (96 Rock) in Orlando on Friday morning to use the frequency for a simulcast of its heritage news-talk WDBO-AM
Merlin Media has already switched the former Emmis Q101 frequency in Chicago to talk as WWWN-FM (FM News 101.1 - See RNW Jul 30) with the Q101 programming, now owned by owned by Broadcast Barter Radio Networks moving online ( See RNW Jul 15) whilst in New York Emmis is keeping WRXP-FM's programming online at 1019rxp.com.
In a news release Merlin said the new station, New York City's only 24-hour FM news outlet, is "committed to highly engaging content that will serve the real-life information needs of on-the-go adults and working parents whenever they tune in" and continues, "Listeners will be captivated by credible and relatable news, along with easy-to-understand traffic reports and accurate weather. Complementing that core content will be information on subjects such as health, family, career, money, entertainment, and more. FM News 101.9 will be interactive across platforms with personalized online and mobile content that promotes audience participation through social media, digital video, and other outlets."
The release also genuflects to advertisers, saying, "Advertisers on FM News 101.9 will be part of a brand-friendly environment that includes sponsorships, billboards, endorsements, Internet, mobile, tablets, and live reads from some of the most dynamic, creative, and trusted personalities in New York."
Merlin Media CEO Randy Michaels commented, "As music moves to the mobile device, now is the time to put spoken word on the band most people use. Our content will target the people who already use FM radio, but will focus on interesting, real-time information" and went on, "Our one-to-many broadcasts will be supplemented by personalized, one-to-one interactive content so that instead of commercials that interrupt a tired music playlist, we offer our marketing partners multiplatform solutions that build brands and move product in the best possible environment."
Backing him up COO Walter Sabo said, "Spoken word, since the beginning of radio, has consistently been the top billing format in the world. The one-on-one relationship with the radio is an active, impactful, natural and entirely compelling experience. FM News 101.9 is offering a format that's truly one-of-a-kind, and by broadcasting on the FM band, we'll reach a large demographic that's hungry for this type of content."
In Florida, Cox Media is to drop the rock format on WHTQ-FM (96 Rock) to use its 96.5 to simulcast news-talk WDBO-AM. The switch will take place at 0500 this Friday and the company, a move it says will bring "more value to the Orlando community."
Commenting on the switch, Susan Larkin, Vice President of Cox Media Group's Orlando radio operations, said in a news release, "AM580 WDBO has an incredibly strong brand with award-winning News, Weather, Traffic and Talk format. We are anticipating significant ratings growth by simulcasting WDBO on FM. Previous simulcasts of this nature across the country have lead to very large share increases Our hope is that the folks that are listening to us now will have choices whether they want to stick on AM or listen on FM, which is a broader reaching signal, and also the opportunity to gain new listeners that haven't had a chance to hear us on FM"
She added, "We want to thank all of our 96 Rock fans and advertisers for supporting the station over the years, and we invite you to listen to FM 96.5 & AM 580 WDBO for your weather, news and talk," said Larkin. "We also invite you to listen to our sister station, 98.9 WMMO for some great Rock music."
2011-08-15: In more US second quarter results, Citadel, which is in the process of being taken over by Cumulus (which reported a 1% fall earlier this month (See RNW Aug 12) , has reported a 4.8% fall in revenues, and Westwood One, involved in a merger with Triton Media's Dial Global (See RNW Aug 1) , a 1.8% rise.
At Citadel, whose current results are of the successor company that emerged from its bankruptcy at the start of June last year (See RNW Jun 3, 2010), consolidated net revenue for the quarter was down 4.8% on a year earlier at USD 185.0 million; consolidated Station Operating Income was down 10% to USD 70.0 million; and free cash flow was up 0.7% to USD 81.6 million.
Operating income was almost halved - down from USD 55.98 million to USD 28.34 million and net income went from USD 1.061 billion to USD 8.74 million (the earlier figure was boosted by USD 1.028 billion of reorganization items).
For the first six months net revenue of the predecessor and successor companies (last year) and successor companies (this year) was down from USD 359.5 million to USD 345.0 million; operating income fell from USD 93.12 million to USD 28.77 million; and net income of USD 1.072 billion to USD 2.10 million (the earlier figure was boosted by USD 1.014 of reorganization items).
Within the figures, Citadel said its second quarter revenue fall was in both its Radio Markets and Radio Networks Segments: Radio markets revenues fell 4.1% to USD 157.7 million for the quarter and by 2.8% to USD 294.1 million for the half year whilst Radio Networks revenues were down 8.6% to USD 28.5 million and 9.9% to USD 53.4 million respectively.
Segment operating income for Radio Markets was down 9.2% for the quarter to USD 65.5 million and down 5.1% to USD 112.5 million for the half year with Radio Networks down 20.8% to USD 4.48 million and down 37.5% to USD 5.6 million respectively.
CEO Farid Suleman commented of the results in a release, "During the second quarter of 2011, the Company's revenues were negatively impacted by a slow down in the overall advertising environment, as well as a reduction in political advertising revenue."
He continued, "In spite of the decrease in revenues, the Company was able to increase its free cash flow for the first six months of 2011 as compared to the same period in 2010 by USD 0.6 million, or 0.7%, due primarily to lower cash payments for interest and lower radio station and network operating expenses. In addition, the Company has repaid USD 53.5 million in term loans during the first six months of 2011 and has over USD 100 million in cash on hand as of June 30th. The Company remains focused on working toward the consummation of the merger."
At Westwood One revenues for the quarter were up 1.8% to USD 40.8 million and operating loss doubled to USD 5.2 million (primarily due to increased operating costs of USD 2.6 million and higher restructuring expenses of USD 1.2 million, partially offset by higher revenue of USD 0.7 million and lower corporate expense of USD 0.6 million) with adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations moving from a positive USD 1 million to a loss of USD 1.0 million, which includes higher broadcast rights expense of USD 1.8 million primarily related to a new sports programming agreement, , whilst net income went from a loss of USD 5.4 million a year ago to income of USD 14.0 million primarily as a result of the sale of its Metro |Traffic business to Clear Channel (See RNW April 29 Westwood 4).
For the first six months revenue was down 3.3% to USD 92.5 million; operating loss was up from USD 4.8 million to USD 14.0 million (primarily due to increased operating costs of USD 6.0 million, lower revenue of USD 3.1 million and higher restructuring expenses of USD 1.6 million, partially offset by lower corporate expense of USD 1.5 million); adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations (Metro Traffic is classified as discontinued) went from income of US D2.5 millions to a loss of USD 5.9 million (reflecting higher broadcast rights expense of USD 4.0 million compared to the first six months of last year (which is largely related to a new sports programming agreement) and lower revenue of USD 3.1 million); and net income moved from a loss of USD 12.1 million to income of USD 4.2 million (primarily attributable to the gain on the Metro Sale transaction of USD 19.3 million and a lower loss from discontinued operations).
President Rod Sherwood, who noted the Metro Traffic sale as the "most significant event" in the second quarter, commented, "Our revenue was up slightly in the midst of slower than expected growth in the Network radio industry, and the seasonal absence of major sports programming in the second quarter" adding "We continued to pursue new opportunities in programming and distribution by launching Rocsi on the Radio with the star of BET's hit TV program, 106th and Park, and by increasing distribution for our Dennis Miller show and our suite of Rick Dees programming. In addition, we launched digital and social media extensions of our new talk programming, as well as digital distribution of the Dennis Miller Show, and digital video distribution of Loveline with Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood."
He then went on to comment of the merger with Dial Global, "We believe that the best path to growth is to enhance the breadth of the products and services we provide to our customers" and added that based on that strategy they had announced the merger that will create "a diverse radio programming, services and advertising sales company, enhancing the array of products and services provided to radio stations and national advertisers."
"The two companies," said Sherwood "also have complementary station group relationships, based on Westwood One's distribution in large markets and Dial Global's mid-size market distribution."
Previous Westwood One:
2011-08-15: Figures released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia to coincide with two years of DAB+ digital radio broadcasting in the country indicate that more than half a million digital receivers have now been sold with around 940,000 people a week listening to digital radio.
In all figures from the latest metropolitan radio survey - for Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney - show 7.6 % of listening to radio is now via a DAB+ digital radio device with Time Spent Listening (TSL) to radio via DAB+, reaching 11 hours and 28 minutes a week.
The Australian commercial radio industry ran a campaign to promote DAB+ during this year's Mother's Day period that seemed to be successful as According to the GFK Marketscope Q2 2011 report, 71,233 receivers were sold in the period, up from the first quarter when the total was 53,996. Another campaign is now planned for Father's Day with a new series of radio advertisements promoting digital radio for Father's Day beginning today on high rotation for three weeks across 42 commercial radio stations in the five metros.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner commented of the figures, "The latest digital radio sales and listening figures include the 2011 Mother's Day retail period and in a challenging retail environment, show the commercial radio industry's ongoing digital radio awareness campaign has been able to cut through."
Regarding the Father's Day promotion she added, "For the first time in our digital ad campaign, we are mentioning a price point in conjunction with retailer Harvey Norman to highlight the fact that digital radios are an affordable present for Fathers' Day."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-08-14: In yet another quiet week for regulators as regards radio, there were no postings from Australia or the UK and only one from Ireland with North America also quiet.
There the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has posted notice of a number of short-term renewals:
In all cases it notes that the renewals do not dispose of any substantive issues that may exist with respect to the renewal of the licences but that it not be able to make its determinations on these applications before the current licences expire.
*Administrative renewal to August 31, 2012, of the licences of Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CHNI-FM, Saint John, and CKNI-FM, Moncton.
*Administrative renewal to March 31, 2012, of the licences of Astral Media's CKTF-FM and RNC Media's CFTX-FM, each in Gatineau.
In Ontario, the CRTC renewed the licence of Campbellford Area Radio Association's CKOL-FM, Campbellford, and its transmitter, CKOL-FM-1, Madoc, for five years until August 31, 2016.
The CRTC noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with Regulations relating to the filing of annual returns for the 2009-2010 broadcast year and that this is the second consecutive licence term in which CKOL-FM has been found in non-compliance with the Regulations although the previous instance was not related to annual returns. In 2007, it renewed the licence for four years because of non-compliance with relations to Canadian Content for popular music selections.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) made no radio specific announcements but did post its Draft Broadcasting Code on Referenda and Election Coverage that updates its previous Code and covers referenda as well as elections (See RNW Aug 10) but as noted there were no radio postings from the UK.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a fairly quiet week as regards radio announcements although it did announce more fines - totalling USD 16,700 on two stations (See RNW Aug 12).
The requirement to file details of acquisitions with it also led to the public disclosure of details of Townsquare Media's latest acquisition plans - the purchase of 26 radio stations from Double O Corporation in a cash and stock deal (See RNW Aug 10).
Previous Licence News:
2011-08-14: A 25-years-old man, identified by authorities only as "William" but said to have a history of mental health problems, is now in his fourth day on a Clear Channel radio tower in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The man climbed up the tower on Thursday morning after he had broken through a security fence and has refused to get into a fire department bucket to be taken down: He is now wearing only shorts, a T-shirt and red socks but has managed to sleep on the tower during the day yesterday and overnight.
The Tulsa World quoted Tulsa Police Department's Special Operations Team member Officer Jason Willingham as saying the man had come down once but climbed up again before police could apprehend them. He has had to face winds of up to 60 miles-an-hour (just under 100 km per hour) and police said that he was beginning to act tired. The team had left a bag containing a cell phone and water for the man on Thursday evening and he had retrieved them and talked to police until the battery ran out since when communication has been by shouting.
Police discouraged bystanders as they believed they fuelled William's desire for attention and members of his family have failed to persuade him to come down.
The police say that the man is likely to be cited for trespassing and taken to a mental health facility rather than face criminal charges and that they are prepared to wait in the hope that he will return to ground.
Senior Negotiator Cole Butler told KOTV's News On 6 that it was a "waiting deal", adding "He may be able to deny his hunger pains and his thirst, but he cannot deny what dehydration does to the body. It would be good for him to come down before that happens. "
Previous Clear Channel:
Tulsa World report:
2011-08-13: Three more US local hosts have left their stations in the past few days with both departures linked to policy on local broadcasting.
In Indianapolis, Entercom has dropped the weekday 0600-0900 "Abdul in the Morning" show and is to replace it with a with a syndicated Wall Street Journal show.
Host Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, whose show has been running since 2004, was told on Wednesday that the show was to be dropped with the last edition to air Friday, leaving him and his producer Brian Moore out of their jobs: He told the Indianapolis Star "We're not leaving on bad terms. It's just the business of radio." Shabazz, a lawyer, added that he hopes to find a new broadcasting opportunity.
Entercom's market manager Jennifer Skjodt said of the move, "It's simply a financial decision. He's a dedicated and passionate broadcaster, and what I really love about him is his sense of humour. He's an awesome employee and really makes a positive impact in the community."
In Fargo, North Dakota, Bruce Kelly, morning host for Great Plains Integrated Marketing's WZFG-AM (The Flag) says he was fired according to Inforum: It reports that Kelly was told he had been dropped following his Friday show.
Kelly had moved to the Fargo-Moorhead in late 2009 and said he had been told he was being dropped because of budget cuts.
He had also been vice president of programming for the company's four Fargo-area stations including the Flag - the others are KEGK-AM; and KQLX-AM and FM - and said he had not been told what the plans were for the 0500 to 0800 slot.
The station's website so far has posted no details in its schedule for this period although it lists output for other times - primarily syndicated shows including Rush Limbaugh followed by Ed Schultz on weekdays but also the locally- produced weekday show from Chris Berg (0800-1100) and Sunday's shows from Jodee Bock (0700-0800) and Maureen Anderson (Career Clinic from noon to 1400). The station had dropped Scott Hennen's locally-produced show at the end of May this year.
In Houston it was the host who took the action according to the Houston Chronicle which notes that Lance Zierlein, who said on Thursday that he had resigned, had with John Granato been the longest-lived duo in Houston sports radio. He had teamed up with Granato at KILT-AM in 1997 and then joined him four years ago on KGOW-AM, which is keeping Granato as the host of the station's morning show with rotating co-hosts.
Zierlein had been working without a contract for several months and told the paper, "It was time for me to go in a different direction. I appreciate my time with 1560, but it has changed over the last year or so and they are headed in a different direction, which is fine."
"I was concerned," he added, "where I would fit in from a local standpoint, where the morning show would be positioned, and I didn't feel like 1560 represented the vision that I hold."
Zeirlein said he was concerned about the station's ability to serve as a hybrid local/national station, commenting, "When people want to talk Houston Texans, that is what they want to talk about," he said. "I never thought they would phase (his show with Granato) out, but it's a concern for people when the perception of your station is that it is more national than local."
David Gow, who owns KGOW and Yahoo! Sports Radio, said he was not hiring a permanent replacement for Zeirlein for now. "Lance is talented, and we enjoyed having him on the station," he said of the host, adding that he was optimistic about the station's direction and its partnership with Yahoo and is committed to a local morning show on the station.
Houston Chronicle report:
Indianapolis Star report:
2011-08-12: Cumulus has reported second quarter broadcast revenues down 1% to USD 68.05 million in what Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey termed "a challenging environment for our markets."
Station operating expenses fell 3% to USD 39.16 million but management expenses rose 12.5% to USD 1.125 million and interest expenses net of interest income, were up .4%, to USD 9.2 million. Station operating income rose 2.4% to USD 30.02 million.
Adjusted EBITDA, including USD 3.5 million in one-time charges related to costs of the acquisition of Cumulus Media Partners and Citadel - Cumulus says its takeover of Citadel is on track to close in September - fell by 13.4% to USD 21.48 million and net income plunged nearly 90% from USD 12.30 million to USD 1.34 million (From 29 cents to three cents per basic and diluted share).
For the first six months of the year revenues are up 0.6% to USD 124.1 million and station operating expenses were down 4.5% to USD 76.71 million but management expenses were up 12.5% to USD 2.25 million and interest expense, net of interest income, was down 4.0%, to USD 15.5 million
Adjusted EBITDA was down 7.6% to USD 34.24 million including USD 5.5 million in merger and acquisition costs. Cumulus noted that excluding these charges adjusted EBITDA would have risen 7% for the quarter and 7.1% for the half-year.
Net income rose 43.6% to USD 17.46 million ( A per share rise from 29 cents basic and 28 cents diluted to 41 cents and 40 cents respectively).
Commenting on the results Dickey said," Our cash revenues declined 0.4%, but our team did an excellent job of defending cash flow. Our Adjusted EBITDA has grown by 7.1% year-to-date, excluding one-time transaction costs" and added "As we move into Q3, we are pleased to have announced our August 1st closing of CMP and expect to close on our acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting in September. Our team is looking forward to executing our integration and operating plans for this exciting new platform of 570 stations and a radio network serving more than 4,000 station affiliates."
2011-08-12: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC)has added another USD 16,700 of penalties to two radio stations for public file breaches and in one case for also violating the alien ownership provisions of the Communications Act of 1934.
Texas Educational Broadcasting Co-operative, Inc., licensee of non-commercial educational station KOOP-FM, Hornsby, Texas, was issued with a USD 8,700 forfeiture.
The agency had issued it with a USD 15,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) in July 2007 following disclosure of the violations in a licence renewal application in which it had admitted the public file breaches and also admitted that for two years prior to filing its renewal application there were two aliens serving on its board, raising its foreign voting interest above the 20% allowed.
KOOP responded by requesting cancellation due to inability to pay - largely because it is recovering from the "financial setback" of a 2006 fire which destroyed its main studio - and supplied federal tax returns for the years 2004 and 2005, audited financial statements for 2006, and a profit and loss statement for the first six months of 2007.
The FCC noted that the gross revenues of the station were around USD 105,000 in 2004 and 2005 and nearly USD 314,000 in 2006. It said that in the past it had considered forfeitures of 5% of gross revenue to be reasonable despite claims of financial hardship and on this basis reduced the penalty to USD 8,700 - approximately 5% of the station's annual gross revenues in the three years prior to the issuance of the NAL.
Southern Adventist University, licensee of WSMC-FM, Collegedale, Tennessee, was issued with a USD 8,000 forfeiture: It had been issued with a USD 10,000 NAL in May 2007 when it disclosed the violations in a licence renewal application and responded by requesting reduction or cancellation because the forfeiture was not imposed within the time limits allowed; that it operated in good faith; the violations occurred during a period of frequent turnover; that it voluntarily disclosed its violations; that upon recognition of the violation it immediately and voluntarily complied with the Rules; and has a history of overall compliance.
The FCC dismissed all the arguments but reduced the penalty by USD 2,000 because of a history of compliance.
2011-08-11: Arbitron has promoted Sean Creamer from the post of Executive Vice President, U.S. Media Services to the newly-created position of Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer.
The company says that in his expanded role he will assume assumes overall operational and financial responsibility for Arbitron's core businesses, and is charged with executing the Company's cross-platform, digital and mobile growth strategies in the United States and in international markets.
It adds that in addition to his current leadership of the Company's product and operations organizations, he adds oversight for the Arbitron research, information technology, engineering, sales and marketing groups.
Cramer will continue to report to President and Chief Executive Officer, William T. Kerr who commented in a news release on the appointment, "Sean has consistently demonstrated a high level of executive acumen, a strong customer focus and a broad business perspective that makes this expanded role a logical next step as we continue to evolve our senior management team," said Mr. Kerr. "This promotion acknowledges Sean's abilities and significant contributions to date, and, I believe, also positions the Company extremely well for its future leadership needs."
Philip Guarascio, Chairman of Arbitron's Board of Directors, added, "The Board has enthusiastically endorsed Sean as Arbitron's chief operating officer. We are counting on Sean to deliver on the financial and operational goals that Bill has established for the company as we continue to develop the long-term top management structure."
Cramer joined Arbitron in August 2005 as Executive Vice President, Finance and Planning and in November that year was named Chief Financial Officer, continuing to hold the responsibilities until March this year although in June 2010 he had been named Executive Vice President, U.S. Media Services, responsible for the Company's radio and cross-platform services and operations.
2011-08-11: Clear Channel Radio has announced two promotions relating to its capability to offer multiple platforms to advertisers - those of Michele Laven, previously Senior Vice President, Distribution and Development, to the post of Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, and of Tom Poleman, previously Senior Vice President of Programming, to the post of President, Clear Channel National Programming Platforms.
Laven's change in duties, says the company, "reflects the company's continued focus on expanding alliances with key national distribution and content partners as well as creating and developing compelling integrated advertising and marketing campaigns across all of Clear Channel's platforms."
It adds that she will expand Clear Channel's efforts around developing alliances with key national distribution partners, and leverage those relationships to create significant value, creating compelling integrated advertising and marketing campaigns across all Clear Channel platforms. She will also focus on distribution agreements for iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's digital music platform."
Poleman will, it says "lead a new National Programming Platforms group, which will oversee music and event marketing, label and artist relations, on-air talent development, creating a network of format brand managers and digital programming."
Poleman will also be responsible for national promotions and events such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
Both will report to Clear Channel radio CEO John Hogan, who commented, "With 237 million listeners a month, 850 broadcast stations across the country, and the 30 million monthly users of our online and mobile products, including iHeartRadio, one of the most popular digital radio services, no other media company comes close to Clear Channel's reach, scale and promotional power."
He continued, "This company is built on strong local market relationships - with our listeners, community leaders, advertisers and partners- and as we continue to strengthen these connections and keep our local focus, we also will make the most of our national scale and reach by putting together products, events and relationships that nobody else can."
"In their new roles, "he added "Tom and Michele will harness the company's national scale, local engagement, multiple platforms and relationships to benefit advertising and marketing partners. This is Clear Channel's powerful competitive advantage, and is key to delivering on our strategy to be where our listeners are with the products and services they want and expect, and creating unique effective opportunities for national advertisers to leverage our national reach and local activation capabilities."
Also announced in conjunction with the creation of the National Programming Platforms Group were the appointments of Tom Owens, formerly Executive Vice President of Programming Development, to the post of Executive Vice President of Programming Research and Strategy, reporting to Hogan; of Jeff Littlejohn, formerly Executive Vice President of Distribution, to the post of Executive Vice President of Engineering and Systems Integration, reporting to Hogan; and of Darren Davis, former Senior Vice President of National Distribution, to the post of Senior Vice President, General Manager of National Programming Platforms, reporting to Tom Poleman.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-08-11: Robert Feder in his blog for Time Out Chicago says Steve Cochran, dropped by Tribune Co's WGN-AM last year (See RNW Jun 26, 2010), may be returning to the Chicago airwaves as afternoon host for Salem's WIND-AM.
Cochran is currently hosting two shows on KTRS-AM, St Louis - 10: 00 to noon and 1800-2100 - and Feder says that he is expected to continue to host the shows on the St Louis Cardinals-controlled station from Chicago should he join Salem.
Cochran, who was born in Ithaca, New York, first worked in radio selling advertising during the summer before starting as a DJ on WTKO-AM in Ithaca and then working for stations in various states ending up in Chicago in 1993. He was hired by WGN as a substitute host in 2000 and took over the mid-afternoon slot that year in changes made after morning host Bob Collins was killed in a plane crash (See RNW Mar 3, 2000) and then worked in various slots.
Feder comments that his rise to take over morning drive seemed inevitable until a clash with management and quotes Cochran as saying of this in an interview shortly after he left WGN, "One answer may be politics, but I believe it was largely because I spoke out about what I was witnessing. I didn't like what they were doing to the radio station and let them know that with regularity. They want people who will never ask questions and just do as they are told."
Cochran went on to criticize former Tribune CEO Randy Michaels, saying, "In my opinion, the reason Randy Michaels & Co. have failed, are failing, and will fail here is because they have no respect for the audience. They simply don't seem to care what the listeners think. Imagine that attitude in any other business."
Time Out Chicago - Feder report:
2011-08-10: Westwood One, which is currently being merged with Dial Global (See RNW Aug 1) has appointed Max Krasny to the post of Senior Vice President / General Manager Entertainment Division and Affiliate Sales.
He takes over from SVP Dennis Green who after 15 years with the company is joining Cumulus as their Vice President of Affiliate Sales and head of Broadcast Operations, the same title he held at Westwood One.
Krasny, who has been with Westwood One for nearly 15 years, joining the company after posts with Infinity / CBS Radio and Susquehanna Radio, took responsibility for the Entertainment Division in 2006. In that role he oversaw overseeing all programming, and was closely involved with advertising and affiliate sales for Music and Entertainment properties.
In his new role, says the company, he will lead affiliate sales efforts for all Westwood One programming, as well as continue to oversee the Company's entertainment properties and events such as The Billy Bush Show, Rocsi on the Radio, the GRAMMY Awards and MTV Networks partnership.
He will be based in Los Angeles and report directly to Westwood One President Rod Sherwood who commenting of the appointment in a news release said, "Since taking the reins five years ago, Max built Westwood One's entertainment division through innovative program development and important partnerships. His knowledge of the business, and solid reputation with both our affiliate and programming partners, will help Westwood One grow our distribution and continue to provide excellent service to our affiliate partners."
Previous Westwood One:
2011-08-10: Townsquare Media's agreed deal to buy 26 radio stations from Double O Corporation that we reported at the start of the week (See RNW Aug 8) is to cost it USD 11 million in cash in addition to which it will issue just more than 96,500 "units" each of preferred and common stock to Double O.
The details are given in a 64-page filing posted by the Fderal Communications Commission that notes that the exact number of stock units is subject to adjustment. This will value the units at USD 4.87, if the final assessment of the value is lower than in preliminary calculations with extra cash to be paid to Double O if it is higher. Costs relating to the FCC transfer of licences are to be shared equally between the buyer and seller.
Townsquare filing to FCC (64-page 1.48 Mb PDF)
2011-08-10: DMG Radio Australia has announced that it has appointed Mike Cass, who joined it in February as Program Director for Nova 937 in Perth, as Program Director at Nova 100 in Melbourne.
Cass takes up his past on August 15: He has been in radio for two decades, starting as a presenter and producer for Leicester Sound in the UK and then working for a number of radio stations in the UK before joining Galaxy 101 in 1997 as Deputy Program Controller and Head of Music.
He was later promoted to the post of to Program Director for Galaxy 105-106 in North East England in June 2000 and then became Program Director for all seven of Galaxy UK's radio stations.
2011-08-10: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has posted - with an August 19 deadline for submission of comments - its Draft Broadcasting Code on Referenda and Election Coverage.
The code updates the current BAI Broadcasting Code on Election Coverage so that it will, once introduced, cover both elections and referenda and the BAI's Deputy Chief Executive Celene Craig said of the draft, "With a presidential election and referenda expected to take place on the same day in October, the requirement to set clear standards for broadcasters is particularly important and necessary."
She added, "Achieving fairness, objectivity and impartiality in coverage of the election and referenda is vital not only because it is legally required of broadcasters but also because radio and television audiences expect excellent standards and will rely on such coverage to inform their choices at the polling stations."
The 11-page draft code is divided under ten headings including such areas as the scope of the code- it applies to coverage of the following constitutional and statutory polls - Referenda, General, Presidential, European and Local Elections, Seanad Éireann Elections and Bye-elections; the prohibition on political advertising in the Republic; and the handling of party political broadcasts.
BAI draft code (11-page 286 Mb PDF):
2011-08-09: Latest Australian radio ratings just released show the leaders unchanged in the two largest metros with Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB top in Sydney with a 14.8% share - down from 15.8% and Fairfax Media's 3AW top in Melbourne with 14.9% - up from 14.2.
In the Sydney breakfast battle Alan Jones for 2GB took his leading share to from 18.8% to 18.2% but Ray Hadley, who follows him, still had a higher share - down from 20.7% to 29.8%. Commercial rival Fairfax Media's 2UE was down in both slots - from 6.5% to 6.3% at breakfast and from 5.9% to 5.7% in mornings while ABC 702 took its share up from 12.6% to 12.9% in breakfast although it slipped back from 9.9% to 9.7% in mornings.
In the Sydney FM breakfast slot Kyle and Jackie O (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson) held onto the lead for Southern Cross Austereo's 2-Day with 9.8%, down from 10.0%.
Also in Sydney DMG's Nova was up from 5.8 to 6.5 and sister Sydney's 95.5 in its latest re-incarnation (It was formerly Vega then Classic Rock) was up from 3.3 to 3.6.
In Brisbane, Australian Radio Network's 97.3 FM has moved into the top spot with a 12.6 share, up from 12.2, pushing Southern Cross Austereo's B105 down with 11.9 (12.5 previously) but then it's back to the same leaders with 5AA remaining top in Adelaide with 16.6, up from 14.5 whilst in Perth Mix 94.5 holds on although its share was down from 17.1 to 15.1.
Southern Cross Austereo in its comments said the ratings showed that it "continues to deliver consistent leadership in the FM radio market" and added, "The Today Network remains strong with its marquee stations 2Day FM Sydney and Fox FM Melbourne securing #1 FM station share for the 40th and 44th time consecutively. Southern Cross Austereo's Triple M network is once again a model of consistency around the metro markets whilst Triple M holds consistent around the metro markets."
In terms of particular programming it singled out the Drivetime show, now shared between Fifi & Jules and Hamish & Andy - the latter down to just Fridays, and the Kyle & Jackie O Show on 2Day, now celebrating five years leading the breakfast FM ratings in Sydney.
Guy Dobson, Director of Southern Cross Austereo Metro Radio, said the ratings brought "another strong and consistent round of ratings results for Southern Cross Austereo, with both the national Today and Triple M networks delivering wins in key demographics."
He continued, "2Day FM Sydney is unbeatable, celebrating five years at number one in the key revenue market and showcasing unique entertainment media solutions like Lady Gaga LIVE at Sydney Monster Hall. Fox FM in Melbourne is a standout, Mix FM in Perth dominant with almost 12 years at number one and The Fifi & Jules plus Hamish & Andy combination continues to be a powerhouse for ratings nationally."
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 16.6 (14.5) - Same rank; Mix 102.3 with 15.3 (13.4) - same rank; ABC 891 with 11.6 (12.5) - same rank.
SAFM then remained fourth with 10.5 (10.9) followed by 5MM which remained fifth with 9.1 (9.3), Nova, remained sixth with 8.0 (8.4) and Cruise 1323 which remained seventh with 6.1 (7.7). 5JJJ remained eighth with 5.7 (5.9)
*Brisbane- 97.3 FM - with 12.6 (12.2) - Up from second; B105 with 11.9 (12.5) - down from first; Nova with 11.1 (10.8) - Same rank;
* ABC 612 was then up a rank to fourth with 10.2 (9.7), swapping places with 4MMM, which was down a rank to fifth with 10.1 (10.4) after which 4KQ was up a rank to sixth with 8.0 (6.9), swapping places with 4BC, which was down a rank to seventh with 6.8 (7.5).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.9 (14.2) - same rank; ABC 774 with 11.9 (13.1) -same rank; Fox FM with 11.4 (11.2) - same rank;
*Gold then remained fourth with 7.2 (7.9), ahead of Nova remained fifth with 6.5 (6.7) after which Magic as up a rank to sixth with 5.7 (5.7), sharing the points with 3MM with 5.7 (5.8 - which made it sixth in the previous ratings. Mix 101.1 then moved up from ninth to eighth with 5.6 (5.0), ahead of SEN, which was down two ranks to ninth with 5.4 (5.7).
DMG's Melbourne's 91.5, formerly Classic Rock and Vega before that was down a rank to 11th with 3.5 (4.2) and Melbourne Talk Radio remained next to bottom with 2.0 (2.2 while ABC News Radio in bottom rank retained a 1.5 share.
*Perth: Mix 94.5 with 15.1 (17.1) -same rank; Nova with 11.7 (9.7) - up from fourth; ABC 720 with 11.7 (11.9) - down from second.
92.9 was then down a rank to fourth with 11.2 (11.5) after which 6PR remained fifth with 11.1(8.6) and 96FM remained sixth with 10.0 (7.5)
*Sydney - 2GB 14.8 (16.8) - same rank; ABC 702 with 10.5 (10.2) - same rank; 2-DAY with 9.3 (9.4) - same rank;
*After this WSFM remained fourth with 7.2 (6.8), followed by Nova, which was up from seventh to fifth with 6.5 (5.8), moving ahead of 2UE, dropped a rank to sixth with 6.3 (6.7).
2CH then moved up a rank to seventh with 5.6 (5.4) ahead of Mix, which was down two ranks with 5.2 (5.8).
DMG's Sydney's 95.3, the former Classic Rock and previously Vega, remained 11th with 3.6 (3.3).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Austereo (Now Southern Cross Austereo- See RNW Jul 21):
Previous Australian Radio Network (ARN):
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Fairfax Media:
Previous Kyle & Jackie O:
Previous Macquarie Radio Networks:
RNW Note: This report was updated.
2011-08-09: A Federal Judge in Manhattan has held off making a decision over an agreement reached to settle a law dispute against Sirius XM Radio subscribers who had sued the company over subscription increases following the merger of Sirius and XM Satellite radios in 2009.
US District Judge Harold Bauer had in March allowed Federal class action claims to proceed but denied class-action for state-law claims that Sirius XM violated federal antitrust and state consumer- protection laws when it raised prices and levied a music royalty fee.
The class and Sirius XM reached a pre-trial settlement and Bauer gave preliminary approval to this in May but Bloomberg reports that subscribers had argued at a hearing that the agreement reached gave them too little and the lawyers too much.
Under the agreement, valued at USD 180 million prices for basic service and Internet access, as well as the music royalty fee, will remain at current levels through the end of the yea; subscribers who cancelled can reconnect without paying a fee and those whose plans expire after Dec. 31 can renew before that time at current rates but there will be no cash payment to the subscribers.
John Marjoras, a lawyer representing Sirius, told the judge on Monday, "The settlement is appropriately scaled to the scope of the case. There were hard-fought negotiations. We fully expected to go to trial."
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-08-08: Entercom has reported second quarter revenues down 1% on a year ago to USD 104.7 million but expenses up 4% to USD 71 million. Operating income was down 11% to USD 33.6 million; adjusted EBITDA was down 11% to USD 28.5 million and income before taxes was down 15.5% to USD 18.77 million whilst net income after a one-off tax benefit of USD 41.8 million during the quarter more than tripled from USD 14.26 million to USD 48. 73 million (From 38 cents USD 1.29 per share--adjusted net income per share was down 11% to 31 cents per share.)
President and Chief Executive Officer David J. Field commented in the company's earnings release, "Entercom's results weakened slightly in the second quarter as revenues were impacted by sluggish economic conditions. While we do not anticipate improvement iSn third quarter market conditions, we continue to enhance our value to customers by developing our integrated, multi-platform marketing capabilities and leveraging the power of radio's near universal reach and our strong local brands and personalities. In addition, we continue to benefit from the strong cash flow generation of our business model which has allowed us to significantly reduce our debt"
At the company's conference call he began by commenting in what was a reference to a 634 point drop in the Dow Jones "we picked a beautiful day for a conference call" and falls generally much higher in radio stocks put his comment into context.
The Dow's 5.55% fall was exceeded by many radio stocks, including Entercom, which was down 11% from USD 7.04 to USD 6.27, and - massively so - by Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) which returned to its SBSA symbol - it had to trade as SBSAD for 20 days after a 1-for-10 reverse stock split - with a fall of around 60% from USD 6.80 to USD 2.78.
Also faring badly were Radio One Inc., which was down 16% from USD 1.39 closing price on Friday to USD 1.17 and Cumulus - down nearly 12% to USD 2.60 -whilst Salem was down approaching 7% from USD 2.86 to USD 2.67 and Beasley was down over 6% from USD 4.31 and 4.04.
Best performer was Saga, which at one stage was up 2.72% from USD 29.38 to USD 32.10 but ended the day down 1.29% at USD 29.00
2011-08-08: Townsquare Media , whose largest shareholder is Oaktree Capital, has announced agreement to purchase a further 26 radio stations from Double O Corporation at an undisclosed price, although obviously involving in part a shares deal as following the transaction the Pilot Group, Double O's equity holders, will become a minority equity holder in Townsquare.
When completed Townsquare will be the fourth largest radio station owner in the US with a total of 191 stations in 40 markets geographically concentrated in he Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, and Mountain West.
The stations being acquired are in Oneonta, New York; , Midland-Odessa, and San Angelo, Texas;, Quincy-Hannibal, Illinois-Missouri and Sedalia, Missouri and subject to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval the deal is expected to close in the final quarter of this year [RNW note: Last month the FCC put a spanner in the works over a deal for Townsquare's acquisition of 12 stations from new Northwest Broadcasting by rejecting the company's plans for a divestment trust to handle the divestiture of 11 stations that is required to comply with market caps - See RNW Jul 30). :
Commenting on the acquisition, Townsquare Media Chairman and CEO Steven Price said in a release, "This transaction represents a continuation of Townsquare Media's strategy of pursing market leading media properties in small and mid-sized markets. We are excited to continue to expand our business by adding new advertisers, a broader audience, premier brands and strong in-market teams."
2011-08-07: Syndicated US radio host Tony Bruno has been attacked by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy for comments he made in a "tweet" calling reliever Ramon Ramirez an "illegal alien" following a benches-clearing brawl between the Phillies and Giants last Friday after Ramirez hit Phillies batter Shane Victorino with a pitch.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Philadelphia sports teams' fan Bruno, made the comment in an attack on Bochy in which he termed the Giants "gutless" and added, "Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy..."
Bruno speedily deleted his tweet but too late as it had already been circulated further and in a Facebook comment apologized for the illegal alien comment although he stood by his description of Bochy as a coward, writing "I did remove my post and apologize for my comments regarding illegal aliens. I was angry and on the air and I stand behind my comments that Bruce Bochy is a coward, as are all managers who order pitchers to throw at guys just because their pitchers can't get a guy out. All of you people resorting to name calling are more classless and vile."
Bochy told the paper, "Forget the remarks about me. That doesn't bother me. For a guy to make a racist comment like that and have the ear of so many people, that bothers me. I can defend myself as a coward. I don't know if you can defend yourself making a racist comment."
Ramirez,who is from the Dominican Republic is in the US legally and said of the remark about his status "its something thats stupid. Im here because I have my visa. Im here to work."
Following the incident, Ramirez, who said he hit Victorino by accident, was fined whilst Victorino received a three-game suspension against which he is appealing.
San Francisco Chronicle report:
2011-08-07: There were no radio announcements from the regulator in Ireland last week but one from Australia, and a few from Canada, the UK, and the US with the last two active on the enforcement front.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has made an exception to its normal policy of limiting trials to a year and extended until the end of July next year the current DAB+ trials in Canberra and Darwin (See RNW Aug 5).
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) postings included the following radio-related ones:
*Posted public notice with a September 6 deadline for interventions or comments regarding an application from Newcap Inc. to increase from 2, 2000 watts to 8,600 watts maximum power of its English-language commercial station CIXF-FM Brooks.
*Administrative renewal to 31 July 2012 of the licence for the developmental community station CFAD-FM, Salmo. The agency notes that the decision will allow the Salmo FM Radio Society to maintain the station's operation during the application process for a new community radio FM in Salmo.
*Administratively renewal from 1 September 2011 to 31 October 2011 the licence of Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s English-language commercial Specialty (Smooth Jazz) station CJGV-FM, Winnipeg.
Also in Winnipeg, the CRTC posted a public notice with a September 7 deadline for interventions or comments noting Corus's application to renew this licence and noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with its conditions of licence relating to Canadian talent development and Canadian content development contributions for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 broadcast years.
It also noted that Corus has requested deletion from the licence conditions requiring a minimum of 70% of all musical selections broadcast during each broadcast week to be devoted to selections drawn from subcategory 34 (Jazz and blues) and a minimum of 35% of all category 3 musical selections broadcast during each broadcast week to be Canadian selections.
Corus says that while it has operated CJGV-FM as a Smooth Jazz Specialty station over its licence term, it has suffered significant financial losses and that the Smooth Jazz format is no longer viable in Winnipeg. It proposes to provide a Mixed Adult Contemporary format that would feature a wide variety of today's pop and rock hits, mixed with songs from the 80's and 90's.
In addition the CRTC has posted details of a number of applications processed under its streamlined procedures including the following radio-related ones:
*Approved change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. The CRTC notes that this transaction does not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continues to be exercised by BCE Inc.
*Extended to 21 April 2012 the time limit to convert Newcap's English-language commercial station CHLW-AM, St. Paul, from AM to FM.
*Extended to 30 May 2012 of the time limit for Matthew Gordon McBride, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, to bring into operation English-language commercial station CKPM-FM, Port Moody. It adds that this will be the final extension to be granted by the Commission.
*Approved change to the ownership and effective control of Quinte Broadcasting Company Limited - licensee of CJBQ-AM and CIGL-FM, Belleville, and CJTN-FM Quinte West - from the late Mr. H. Myles Morton, to a joint control exercised by William Alexander Morton, Stephen Myles Morton, Virginia Elizabeth Morton, Cynthia J. Thorne and Deborah Barbour.
*Extended to 8 May 2012 the time limit to bring into operation Pineridge Broadcasting Inc.'s English-language commercial station CJWV-FM Peterborough, noting that this is the final extension it will grant.
*Extended to 2 February 2012 the time limit to bring into operation Sound of Faith Broadcasting's English-language specialty station CHJX-FM, London.
*Extended to 9 May 2012 the time limit for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to commence the operation of the new transmitter CBEF-FM, Windsor. It noted that this will be the final extension to be granted by the Commission.
*Approved Change to the ownership and effective control of Radio Haute Mauricie inc. - licensee of CFLM, LaTuque - from Mr. Réjean Leclerc to Ms. Anne Armstrong.
As already noted there were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom released its eighth Communications Market Report (See RNW Aug 5); announced a fine of GBP 1,000 (USD 1,640) on London community station Voice of African Radio, which had been transmitting only clean carrier for a period (See RNW Aug 3) and posted its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints (See RNW Aug 2).
Ofcom also posted its July radio update in which it noted the issue of two new licences - a RLCS (Radio Licensable Content Service) licence for GTMN Ltd's GTBC service of news, discussions on current affairs, interviews and entertainment for the Tamil community and a DSP (Digital Sound Programme Service) licence for Voice of Russia from the World Radio Network.
No licences were revoked or handed back during the period but Ofcom has updated its timetable for the -advertisement of local analogue commercial radio licences: ; has re-advertised the Bridgwater & West Somerset local commercial radio licence after its Licensing Committee decided that, "in view of the licensee's unsatisfactory record of compliance with licence conditions, we will not be implementing the special application procedure for the re-advertisement of this licence (Ofcom last month shortened the station's licence for a year after it operated at greatly above its licensed power - See RNW Jul 29) and pre-advertised two local FM licences.
These are for Tindle Radio-owned Delta Radio Ltd 's Kestrel FM serving Alton & Haslemere, Hampshire and Surrey and Londonderry/ Northern Media Group Ld's Q102, Londonderry, with licences to be offered running to November and October 2019 respectively. Declarations of intent to apply - accompanied by a GBP 5,000 (USD 8,000 fee) and 10,000 (USD 16,000) deposit that will be refunded on subsequent submission of a valid application in the case of a re-advertisement have to be made by August 24 and if the incumbents apply they will be invited to re-apply for the licence.
Ofcom also noted that only the incumbent Channel Radio Ltd had declared an intent to apply for the Jersey licence and accordingly is being invited to re-apply under the fast track procedure.
Licence renewals noted in the update were of the Heart, Devon licence (Barnstaple), which was renewed until October 2023 and five 12-year renewals for digital licences - of DL001 Birmingham / C.E. Digital Ltd; DL002 Manchester / C.E. Digital Ltd; DL003 Greater London I / C.E. Digital Ltd; DL004 Glasgow / Bauer Digital Radio Ltd; DL011 Greater London II / Switch Digital (London) Ltd; and also a 12-year renewal for the national Digital One licence.
A format change from West Wales bilingual station Radio Ceredigion to allow it to reduce the amount of Welsh language output from at least 20% of Welsh language tracks during the daytime to at least 10% was rejected: Ofcom had carried out a consultation and received 123 responses, of which 116 opposed the request.
Format changes were allowed on three digital multiplexes - to add local speech and music station - primarily gold and easy listening - Bay Radio to the South Wales and Severn Estuary multiplex; remove community station Voice Radio from the Cardiff and Newport multiplex; and add Voice of Russia from the World Radio Network to the Greater London II multiplex.
One change of control review took place relating to Exeter FM. No changes are planned in the format and the change was approved.
Regarding Community Radio Ofcom noted that it has invited applications for a third round of licensing and extended to September 21 the deadline for applications for a community station to serve North Devon and Torridge.
One new licence was issued - to The Watford Vibe Limited's The Vibe, Watford - and the licence of Canterbury Youth and Student Media Limited's CSR FM, Canterbury, was extended by five years to January 2017.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) again issued a number of penalties in a week in which New York became the latest state to make operating a pirate station illegal under state law with the signing by Governor Andrew Cuomo of legislation that makes this a Class A Misdemeanour. Under the law, which was strongly supported by the New York State Broadcast Association, equipment seized is to be destroyed.
New York State Broadcasters Association President David Donovan commented that "many consumers cannot receive emergency information or enjoy their favourite radio station because of technical interference from illegal operators. Unlicensed operators simply ignore consumer protection laws and the public interest responsibilities" that guide licensed radio stations." Similar laws are in effect in Florida and New Jersey.
Penalties imposed by the FCC last week included one group totalling just more than USD 22,000 (See RNW Aug 3) and another more than USD 17,000 (See RNW Aug 2) and also a USD 9,000 forfeiture issued to the University of South Carolina, licensee of WUSC-FM, Columbia, for public file violations. An NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability to Forfeiture) for this amount was issued in June 2004 to which the University filed a request for cancellation or reduction on the basis that the amount was excessive compared to that imposed in similar cases and that it would cause financial hardship. The FCC dismissed the first argument and noted that insufficient documentation had been provided to justify a reduction on financial hardship grounds. It confirmed the penalty.
The FCC also issued its latest list of radio stations selected for EEO (Equality of Employment Opportunity) audits - some 99 stations (Also RNW Aug 3).
Amongst licensing actions the agency granted an application for the licence of two Florida FM translator licences - W272BA, Cocoa Beach, , and W264AS, Rockledge- from David Carus & Associates to National Christian Network and rejected petitions to deny the transfer from Brevard Youth Education Broadcasting Corporation, Inc and Community Radio Foundation of Florida who had argued on the basis amongst other things that Carus may have made misrepresentations to the Commission in order to obtain a Consent Decree that was entered into in June this year to terminate an investigation into Carus for breaches including the unauthorized transfer of control of the Stations and the broadcast of underwriting messages in excess of the thirty-second per hour limitation.
Also in Florida, the FCC denied a petition from The Dianne Mayfield-Harder Trust against a staff action dismissing as moot an application to transfer the construction permit for unbuilt station WJFA-AM, Hilliard, Florida, from the Dianne Trust to Charles Harder of White Springs. The dismissal had occurred because the permit had expired and the parties made their appeal on the basis that health and changes in financial conditions had delayed the building of the station. The FCC said the permit had expired and it could not change that on the basis of the arguments made.
In New York state it granted an application to assign the licence of WFLK-FM, Geneva, from MB Communications, Inc. to The Finger Lakes Radio Group, Inc, rejecting an objection to the transfer from Towers Investment Trust, Inc., which argued on the basis that George W. Kimble, an officer with a 67 percent ownership interesting The Finger Lakes Radio Group, is currently subject to Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona. Towers Investment Trust is one of the creditors in the proceedings.
Previous Licence News:
2011-08-07: In yet another switch away from music formats, CBS Radio in Cleveland has announced that from Monday August 29 its WKRK-FM 92.3 frequency, currently used for Alternative Radio 92.3 is to be flipped to Sports as 92.3 The Fan.
CBS also announced that Andy Roth is moving from its WGR-AM (WGR 550Sports Radio) to become Program Director: Roth has previously also worked for CBS sport properties WFAN-AM, New York, and WIP-AM, Philadelphia.
Programming will include a morning show with sportscaster Kevin Kiley and Chuck Booms, formerly of FOX Sports Radio's "Kiley and Boom Show" - until Booms was fired at the end of 2002.
Kiley was also co-host of The Michael Irvin Show on Disney's KESN-FM (ESPN) in Dallas/Fort Worth and then on Beasley's WQAM-560, Miami, until last month when he left giving as his reason a move to Virginia for personal reasons.
Afternoons will be hosted by Adam "The Bull Gerstenhaber", formerly of WFAN-AM, in New York, and the station will also carry Westwood One's coverage of the NFL and local sports.
2011-08-06: India's Public sector broadcaster Prasar Bharati is to expand All India Radio (AIR) FM operations to 210 new cities, a move that would keep it well ahead of private FMs, according to the Business Standard.
The paper notes that at the moment Prasar Bharati operates FM stations in around 100 stations and private FMs operate in 86 cities but under government plans private licences are to be sold for operations in 313 cities and towns: A total of 839 licences in 227 towns and cities are to be offered under Phase III of India's FM expansion.
In economic terms, the paper says AIR's medium wave, shortwave and FM stations, take around 35% of the INR 1,200 crore ( USD 268 million - a crore is 10 million) annual revenues for the Indian radio industry.
That overall total it says is expected to double by 2015 and industry observers say that if AIR does not set up its own stations to compete, it may lose its dominant share.
It says Prasar Bharati has already written to the chief secretaries of all states for the allocation of land to set up new stations and quotes a senior Prasar Bharati official as saying, "We require an allocation of around Rs 2,000 crore to expand AIR's FM operations. The government has recently approved the policy for phase-III FM expansion. We want to be present in all the places where private operators would function... As soon as the approval comes, we'll begin work to set up the necessary infrastructure"
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:
Business Standard report:
2011-08-06: Australian metropolitan radio advertising revenues fell by 1.65% compared to a year earlier according to figures released by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.
The 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue figures, sourced by Deloitte, it says shows advertising revenue fell for July, year on year, in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth but grew in Adelaide.
Commercial Radio Australia has previously given totals but for this month has so far only posted the percentage changes - falls of 3.81% for Melbourne; 3.53% for Perth; 1.29% for Brisbane and 0.1% in Sydney Adelaide revenues grew by 2.6%.
Commenting on the performance, Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner said that in spite of the slower June and July Australia's commercial radio industry recorded good metropolitan revenue growth of 5.65% for the financial year ended June 2011, up to a total of AUD 683.90 million (USD 714.1 million).
"The market appears to be reflecting the economic uncertainty being felt at the moment in many sectors, a fall in retail sector spend and a general overall softer advertising market," she said. "Factors like the 2010 Federal election and the mining tax campaigns may have also contributed to the higher revenue figures this time last year".
"Looking to the future," she added "radio has good prospects for revenue growth with the medium's ability to facilitate conversations in real time directly with consumers, radio's out of home reach, and its ability to offer effective cross media advertising packages."
Previous Australian Radio Revenues (June):
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-08-05: Univision has reported second quarter revenues down 7.7% to USD 590.4 million in the second quarter of the year with adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization(OIBDA) down 7.0% to USD 253.0 million whilst for the first six months net revenues were down 1.9% to USD 1,072.2 million and adjusted OIBDA was down 6.7% to USD 422.0 million.
The company put much of the fall down to the boost given to figures last year by 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer and also the inclusion in the half-year figures of USD 15 million of income from a commercial settlement. If the effects of the World Cup are excluded, consolidated net revenues for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011 increased 4.3% and 5.3%, respectively.
The quarterly fall was mainly in TV with net revenues for the quarter down 9.2% to USD 485.3 million (down 2%% to USD 892.4 million in the half year) whilst radio was fairly flat - down 0.6% to USD 89.4 million (Down 1.2% to USD 152.3 million for the half year). Interactive, which only accounts for only around 2.5% of the total, was down 20.7% to USD 15,700 for the quarter and 5.5% to USD 27,500 for the half year.
President and CEO Randy Falco commented only on TV in the company's earnings release and in very brief comments about radio, Univision noted that in the second quarter its Spanish-language stations held the top rank for the 18-34 and 25-54 demographics in the Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco, PPM markets.
Overall net income fell from USD 32 million to USD 8.5 million for the first half of the year but rose from USD 35.3 million to USD 82.6 million for the second quarter: The figures for the half-year included USD 22.9 million in restructuring, severance and related charges this year - up from USD 6.2 million a year earlier (for the second quarter they fell from USD 5.2 to USD 1.7 million) and impairment charges and USD 1.7 million - down from USD 5.2 million in 2010- for both the quarter and half-year and more significantly a change in income taxes from charges of USD 29.9 million in 2010 to a gain of USD 153.4 million in the first half of this year with corresponding figures for the second quarter of a USD 32.4 million charge in 2010 and a USD 82.4 million gain this year.
2011-08-05: Clear Channel, which has been stunting without jocks since June has now "repositioned" WTQR-FM, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as New Country Q104-1, a move made at 1:04 PM.
The station keeps Jeff Roper in mornings and Jeff Wicker in afternoons and former morning co-host Angie Ward has moved to middays.
Programming currently includes a number of ad-free music blocks running 104 minutes at 09:00, in the afternoon, and at night with others airing at weekends.
The re-launch gave a brief history of the station and said it had spent tens of thousands of dollars asking you what you want," and then as its first song went to Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party."
At one time a market leader in its former format the station has lost its number one ranking over recent years, first amongst the 25-54 demographic then amongst all listeners (to Entercom's hip-hop WJMH -102JAMZ) and by Spring 2008 lost the top country station slot to Entercom's WPAW-FM (The Wolf).
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-08-05: Melbourne 3AW host Derryn Hinch, currently serving a five-month home detention sentence for releasing the names of two sex offenders in defiance of a prohibition order (See RNW Jul 22), is amongst those named as finalists for this year's Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).
Hinch, who was drivetime host for the Fairfax Media station until he had to step aside for a liver transplant and then his detention, is a finalist in the Best Talk Presenter (metropolitan) category along with Ray Hadley of Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB Sydney; Steve Vizard of the new Melbourne talk station MTR (Pacific Star Network -operated by Macquarie Radio Network);and 3AW morning host Neil Mitchell, who began his radio career as a stand-in for Hinch in 1987.
Hinch is also a finalist in the Best Current Affairs Presenter category along with Hadley ( also a finalist in the Best Networked Program category), Neil and Paul Murray of Fairfax Media's 2UE Sydney.
In all there are now 23 award categories -coincidentally the Awards are now in their 23rd year - for which a record of more than 1,100 entries were received. This year organizer Commercial Radio Australia has split the Metropolitan Best On-Air Team Award into two categories - metro AM and metro FM.
Commenting on the split, Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner said, ": "We've had an unprecedented number of entries in the On-Air Team category this year and to take into account the differing broadcast styles and content provided by AM and FM broadcasters in metropolitan markets there will be a Best On-Air Team Metropolitan award in both AM and FM."
Nominated for these in the FM category are The Kyle and Jackie O Show (Southern Cross Austereo's 2Day FM Sydney), Jonesy and Amanda (Australian Radio Network's WSFM, Sydney), Fitzy and Wippa (DMG Radio Australia's Nova, Sydney), the Hamish and Andy Show (Austereo's Today Network), and the Matt and Jo Show (Southern Cross Austereo's Fox FM Melbourne). Kyle and Jackie O (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson) have won the award twice before and Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) have taken it for the past three years.
In the AM category the finalists are 3AW Breakfast, 2GB Continuous Call Team, George & Paul ( 2UE Sydney) and 3AW Nightline/Remember When.
Fitzy and Wippa's drivetime programme is a finalist in the Best Networked Program (metropolitan) category along with The Hamish and Andy Show and the Ray Hadley Morning Show.
In the Best New Digital Radio Format the finalists are Koffee (DMG), Novanation (DMG), Radar Radio (Southern Cross Austereo) and U2O Radio (Southern Cross Austereo).
The full list of finalists -including those in the Provincial and Country groups as well as the metropolitan ones - is available online here (138 kb 6-page PDF)
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-08-05: Dorothy E. Brunson, who became the first African-American woman in the nation to own a radio station when she bought WEBB-AM in Baltimore in 1979 (the same year that Cathy Hughes bought WOL-AM in Washington, D.C., the first station in the Radio One Inc. Empire) has died of complications from cancer aged 72.
Brunson, nee Edwards, who was born in Glensville in Georgia but raised in Harlem, also co-founded Howard Sanders Advertising, which was one of the first African-American advertising agencies in the U.S.
The Baltimore Sun in its report notes that after gaining a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting in 1960 from the State University of New York Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, she went to work in 1962 as assistant controller of WWRL-Radio in New York City. She quickly became controller and when she left in 1969 was assistant general manager.
In 1970 she was hired by Inner City Broadcasting to assist black investors purchasing WLIB-AM Radio, New York's first station focused on the African-American community and was hired as its general manager within four months at which time the station had more than USD 1 million in debt. By 1978it had become the sixth largest radio station in the US with annual sales having risen from USD 500,000 to USD 23 million (RNW note: A quick check on the WLIB site shows that it is carryin no mentions of Brunson. WEBB is now an M10 Broadcasting Inc. sports station).
She left Inner City in 1979 and established Brunson Communications Inc. buying bankrupt WEBB, which dated back to 1955 and was named after swing-era musician, William Henry "Chick" Webb, for USD 485,000.
The station owed back taxes and she also had to deal with some 600 violations that had been filed against WEBB by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) according to the Sun, which says she told Working Woman magazine in an interview some years later, "I was naïve."
The station, previously owned by James Brown, the "The Godfather of Soul " remained in the red for her first four years of ownership and she took no salary for two year.
Eventually after a five-year struggle with Baltimore City Council she gained permission to construct new towers and in 1986 the station, which had previously operated only during daylight hours, was able to air for 24 hours.
the station was profitable by 1986 and she expanded, buying WIGO-AM in Atlanta, and WBMS-AM, in Wilmington, and also WGTW-TV Channel 48 in Philadelphia in 1986 -the first African-American woman to own a TV station.
Maryland governor Martin O'Malley paid tribute in a statement in which he described her as "a pioneer and remarkable woman with an unwavering entrepreneurial spirit" and added, "Dorothy's legacy lives on in the dreams and aspirations of our children who can learn from her that nothing is ever impossible if you believe in and work hard for a better future."
Baltimore Sun report:
2011-08-05: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has extended until the end of July next year the current DAB+ digital radio trials in Canberra and Darwin.
These began in July last year and such trials are normally limited to a maximum of 12 months but in this case the agency says that since it is likely that any government policy for regional digital radio will result in some combination of DAB+ services being provided in these markets in the long-term this constituted 'special circumstances' warranting an exception to the rule.
ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman commented, "The ACMA remains committed to facilitating trials of new broadcasting technologies and is pleased to assist with the trialling of digital radio in these two cities. The extension of the current digital radio trials will also allow further testing of DAB+ digital radio technology in regional areas. The findings from the trials are expected to be valuable in the development of the Australian Government's regional digital radio policy."
"'It is important to note, however," he added "that trial licences confer no longer-term rights over the spectrum in question."
The extension was welcomed by industry body Commercial Radio Australia whose chief executive Joan Warner said the trials were "assisting the radio industry to develop digital radio channel plans for all regional areas."
"Each regional radio licence area provides different digital radio transmission challenges," added Warner. "The radio industry wants to ensure listeners outside of the five state metropolitan capitals will receive the same high level of digital radio services as those listeners living in the city."
In other developments Commercial Radio Australia has announced that the country's commercial radio industry is seeking expressions of interest from media and advertising agencies to access an industry pool of funds for joint research projects.
Warner commented of this, "The industry wants to partner with agencies in investigating radio's effectiveness and is seeking a range of ideas from agencies for cooperative jointly funded research" and noted research conducted over the past few years on radio advertising.
"We want to work closely with media and advertising agencies on projects they may have identified as requiring extra information to further promote radio to their clients as part of the media mix," she added.
"We are looking to begin implementation of at least one cooperative research project in the second half of 2011. We exist in an extremely competitive media environment and an ever changing technological world, so it is vital the industry maintains its position as an effective and flexible medium and continues to be considered a vital part of media plans. Research is an essential component of this"
Commercial Radio Australia had also earlier announced in conjunction Singapore's premier radio network, MediaCorp the launch of a two week international fellowship that will be a prize for the winner of this year's Brian White Award - named after the Australian newsman who was commercial radio's first cadet journalist -at the annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs), to be held on the Gold Coast on October 15..
In addition, the CRA and MediaCorp arrangement allows for a MediaCorp nominated candidate from Singapore to spend two weeks at an Australian Commercial Radio station.
Florence Lian, MediaCorp's Managing Director for Radio, said, "Australian and Singaporean radio operators are leaders in broadcast within the Asia Pacific region and an exchange of expertise will be a fruitful learning experience for both chosen candidates. We are excited by this partnership and are looking forward to hosting the Australian candidate in Singapore."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-08-05: UK media regulator Ofcom has released its eighth Communications Market Report, which focuses mainly on telecommunications and emphasises the growth in the use of Smartphones - teenagers, it says, especially are ditching more traditional activities in favour of their smartphone, with 23 per cent claiming to watch less TV and 15 per cent admitting they read fewer books - but also continues to monitor broadcasting.
Within broadcasting it notes that 2010 radio revenues were up 2.8% to GBP 1.1 billion (USD 1.79 billion) compared to a 5.7% increase to GBP 11.8 billion (USD 19.21 billion) for TV: Commercial radio revenues amounted to GBP 438 million (USD 713 million), having posted the first nominal increase since 2007, whilst BBC radio expenditure was estimated to have risen by 3.8% to GBP 685 million (USD 1.115 billion - some 61% of the total).
In terms of listening it notes that the BBC took a 55% share in 2010 with the figures ranging from 62% in Wales to 45% in Scotland. Overall listening was up 2.1% year-on-year to 1.04 billion hours a week with 26.5% of it to on digital platforms for the first quarter of this year. National commercial stations saw the largest annual increase, up by 7% year on year - with reach up to 91.6% of the population.
Over the past five years says the report listening to UK-wide stations' audience share rose, while that of local stations fell: BBC network services listening hours increased by 2.5% over the five-year period and national commercial stations' hours rose by 5.2% over the same period with BBC local and nations stations' hours falling by 21%, and local commercial stations' share falling by 7.3%.
UK radio did well online in comparison to other services with 18% of households listening to it via the Internet compared to 7% using free streaming services and 2% using subscription ones. Some 37% of households now have access to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).
In terms of station numbers Ofcom says that excluding community stations UK had 344 local radio stations and 12 national stations as of July this year.
Ofcom Communications Market Report (3.9 MB 341-page PDF):
2011-08-04: Salem Communications has reported second quarter revenues up 6.7% on a year earlier at USD 56.1 million, driven by rises in internet and publishing revenues: Net broadcast revenues were down 0.1% to USD 45.4 million - although same station revenues were up 2.1% to USD 86.5 million - whilst internet revenues were up 60.9% to USD7.6 million and publishing revenue increased 6.9% to USD 3.1 million.
For the first six months total revenues are up 6.4% to USD 107.9 million, again led by internet and publishing: Broadcasting revenues rose 1.4% to USD 88.1 million and same station revenues were up 2.1% to USD 86.5 million; internet revenue increased 49.9% to USD 13.8 million and publishing revenue increased 11.5% to USD 6.0 million.
Operating expenses rose faster than income - up 7.3% for the quarter to USD 46.2 million and 3.3% to USD 86.0 million for the first six months with operating income for the quarter down 1.4% to USD 9.9 million including a USD 1.1 million loss (USD 0.7 million, net of tax, or USD 0.03 per share) on early redemption of long-term debt due to the repurchase of USD 17.5 million of Salem's 9 5/8% senior secured second lien notes due in 2016.
For the six months operating income was up 20.5% to USD 21.9 million having been boosted by a USD 4.4 million gain (USD 2.6 million, net of tax, or USD 0.11 per diluted share) on disposal of assets comprised of a USD 2.4 million pre-tax gain from the sale of KKMO-AM in Seattle, Washington and a USD 2.1 million pre-tax gain from the sale of KXMX-AM in Los Angeles, California, partially offset by losses from various fixed asset and equipment disposals.
Overall Salem recorded a 57.1% rise to USD 1.1 million in net income for the quarter (from three cents to seven cents per diluted share) whilst for the half-year net income was up more than four-fold - from USD 900,000 to USD 3.7 million (from four to 15 cents per diluted share).
2011-08-04: Emmis Communications has appointed Jay Dixon as Program Director for its Urban AC 98.7 KISS FM (WRKS-FM), New York.
He takes up his post on August 10 and Alexandra Cameron, SVP and Market Manager of Emmis New York said his "knowledge of the Tri-State area combined with his experience in the format, make him the perfect leader for the legendary KISS FM brand!"
Dixon noted Emmis in a release started his broadcasting career in 1977 as a high school reporter at WILD Boston and over the past 34 years, his career has expanded across many formats including Top 40, Country, Classic Hits and Urban. He has held positions as Production/Creative Services Director at 98.7 KISS FM New York, Mix DJ (as Jay Mixin' Dixon) and as Program/Operations Manager at Cox Media's WBHK Birmingham and WALR Atlanta.
2011-08-04: Entravision has reported second quarter revenues down 6%to USD 50.27 million with the first six months down 2% to USD 94.31 million but expenses were up and consolidated adjusted EBITDA fell by 18% for the quarter to USD 15.6 million and by 9% for the six months to USD 26.01 million.
Net income applicable to common stockholders of USD 6.97 million in the second quarter of 2010 became a loss of USD 352,000 )from 8cents to nil per share) and for the half year net income of USD 4.78 million became a loss marginally higher (From six cents per share income to six cents loss)>
Commenting on figures, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walter F. Ulloa said, "During the second quarter of 2011, we faced challenging comparisons to last year's second quarter, when we benefited from World Cup, political and census advertising revenue."
"Nevertheless," he continued "our audience shares remain strong, and we believe we are well positioned to benefit as the U.S. Hispanic market continues to expand and advertisers increasingly recognize the importance of reaching our target audience. The release of the 2010 U.S. census data reconfirms the growth and importance of the U.S. Hispanic population and our position in some of the fastest-growing and most densely-populated Hispanic markets. We remain focused on improving our operating performance while continuing to carefully manage our costs."
At Radio One Inc. second quarter revenues were up 29.3% on a year earlier at USD 97.1 million boosted by a one-time pre-tax gain of USD 146.9 million from its increased ownership in TV One - it took a majority stake earlier this year: Its net income jumped from USD 2 million to USD 98.6 million (from four cents to USD 1.94 per share).
For the first six month its revenues were up 20.9% at USD 162.1 million and a net loss in 2010 of USD 2.5 million became income of USD 34.3 million (From a loss of five cents to income of 67 cents per share ).
Within the figures radio revenues were down 3.4% and President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III, who noted that core radio revenues were now around 62% of the total, commented, "Our radio performance suffered from difficult competitive situations in Dallas and Houston, and sluggish economic recovery in our Mid-West markets. Our on-line and mobile product offerings continue to develop, and our losses at Interactive One narrowed considerably from the same period last year. I anticipate radio revenues in the third quarter to remain relatively flat, and we continue to focus on controlling the cost base, while developing other revenue streams."
Radio One said the worst declines were in Baltimore, Columbus, Dallas and Houston and Radio Division President Barry Mayo told investors "the biggest problem is in Houston" where he said rates are being dropped significantly by competitors with the same problem in Baltimore. In Dallas said Mayo "we helped mess that station up but by the end of the year we expect to see the gap in Dallas largely closed."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2011-08-04: Latest UK radio ratings from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) show the number of people listening to radio in the UK hitting an all time high of 47.6 million adults - 91.7% of the 15+ population - each week with listening hours totalling 1.076 million.
Within the figures commercial radio took an increased share - up to 43.7% from the 42.6% in the previous quarter whilst the BBC slipped back from 55% to 54% as all but three of its eleven national stations saw their figures slip.
The exceptions were BBC Radio 4, with a marginal 0.2% increase to a record 10.85 million; Digital station BBC1Xtra, which was up 11.2% on the previous quarter at 992,000; and BBC 4 Extra, the former BBC Radio 7, which in its new form recorded 1.605 million listeners a week compared to 1.159 for BBC Radio 7.
BBC World Service fell back by 3.9% from the previous quarter - its audience was down from 1.79 million to 1.72 million but in year-on-year terms was a strongest performer: Its year-on-year increase was 33.9%, behind 1Xtra, which was up 65.3% to 992,000 and Five Live Sports Extra, which was up 45.7% to 797,000.
World Service, of course, has been helped by the growth in digital listening - it is among the BBC national digital services but its medium wave service could only be heard satisfactorily in southern England on standard receivers: Listening via a digital platform - online, digital TV and digital audio broadcasting (DAB) has now reached 26.9% of all listening, up from 26.4% a year ago with DAB up from 15.8% a year ago to 17.2%; that on Digital TV platforms up from 4.1% to 4.8% and online up from 3% to 3.2%.
In the London commercial market Bauer's Magic was back at the top with a weekly reach of 2.286 million, up 14.4% quarter on quarter and 11.7% year-on-year, and a share of 6.1%, up from 5..3% in the previous quarter but down from 6.4% a year earlier whilst Global Radio's Capital FM, which led in reach and share in the previous quarter dropped back 4.7% to a reach of 2.077 million - it was up 8.1% year-on-year - and its share was down from 6.1% to 4.8% (4.9% a year earlier).
Capital did hold on to the breakfast crown amongst London commercial stations with Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon increasing their weekly reach from 1.120 million a year ago to 1.143 million although they were down from a second quarter total of 1.227 million. Second was Neil Fox on Bauer's Magic with 854,000 and third Heart's Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott with 792,000
In the national breakfast competition, Chris Evans lost around half a million listeners to end up with 8.67 million a week to his Radio 2 show - still comfortably ahead of arch rival Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1: Moyles lost only 80,000 listeners and had a weekly audience of 7.44 million.
In its comments the BBC highlighted the success of Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra, the rebranded Radio 7 that launched on April 2 - with Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie commenting, "Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra play a unique role in the country's cultural and news agenda, so I am delighted to see listeners tuning into them in record numbers. Radio goes from strength to strength as a result of the industry's co-ordinated efforts and we are now seeing impressive performances and growth across the sector."
Bauer put the spotlight on the Bauer Passion Portfolio, which increased its year-on-year reach from 6.4 million to 6.6 million with listening hours up 4.3% and in particular noted not only KISS but digital stations The Hits, which increased its reach from 1.1 million to 1.2 million, with hours up 5.8% and Smash Hits, whose reach was up from 990,000 to 1.1 million with listening hours up 1.6%.
It also noted online success with monthly visits to its websites now more than 1.8 million; total app downloads more than 1.5 million; and more than 1.2 million fans following a station on Facebook.
Steve Parkinson, managing director of Bauer Radio London, commented, "Our London team is rightly celebrating today's figures - with both Magic and Kiss enjoying their highest audiences ever. Quite an achievement. Magic is playing the BBC at their own game by using other Bauer platforms such as magazines and TV to promote our service, and Kiss continues to connect with millions of young consumers across radio and via a huge increase in app downloads and online listening."
For the whole group, Dee Ford, group managing director radio, added, "I am very pleased to see that the strategy behind Bauer Place Portfolio and Bauer Passion Portfolio is continuing to pay dividends, as we return another strong set of results. I am particularly pleased to see Magic 105.4 return to number one spot in London, with the largest reach of all music stations, including the BBC. Commercial radio as a whole is performing very well and listening hours are up across the board. The rise in digital radio listening hours and reach is also a great story as The Hits and Smash Hits have a positive quarter under the Bauer Passion Portfolio. The Bauer Place Portfolio continues to focus on local programming and we are thrilled to see our hours continue to grow, reflecting our ambition to be 'big in all the right places'. The results make Bauer commercial market leader for reach and share in each of our 21 markets."
RNW note: This is a preliminary report that is to be updated including ourt usual more detailed rundown of the national stations' figuresand possibly further comments:
Previous RAJAR ratings:
2011-08-03: UK media regulator Ofcom has fined community station Voice of Africa Radio (VoAR) Limited GBP 1,000 ( USD 1640) after its investigation found that the station had been broadcasting only a carrier signal but no programming - for a number of days between 18 December 2010 and 1 January 2011.
Ofcom had already noted in a February complaints bulletin that the licensee had breached the conditions of the licence (See RNW Feb 7) and the matter was considered by Ofcom's Sanctions Committee last month.
It decided it would not be in the licensee's interest for the station to go off air but that the breaches were serious enough to justify a financial penalty.
VoAR's CEO and an assistant had attended the Sanctions Committee hearing and amongst other things said that that for periods when the station was off air the Licensee had been unable to access the transmitter site where an equipment failure had occurred and that the licensee believed that incoming interference from unlicensed broadcasters had impacted upon VoAR's signal and this had exacerbated the situation. Regarding access to the site, it said this was controlled by the local authority and it was not able to gain access unless they are accompanied by an official from the council. Gaining access involved persistent phone calls to the council and could sometimes take up to two weeks and also a call-out fee of GBP 200 (USD 330) each time a council official has to go out to the site and that for VoAR this was a significant financial outlay.
This made it difficult to carry out maintenance and repairs promptly and was the reason why the station had been off-air between 16 and 24 December and why it took another two days to get the station back on air after further problems were experienced on 27 December. Indeed, when they did gain access on the 24th they were given only 30 minutes and so "were not able to do anything". Consequently, within 42 hours the signal went off again. The Licensee also explained that they had to pay a call-out fee of £200 each time a council official has to go out to the site and that for VoAR this was a significant financial outlay.
In addition the licensee appealed for pardon against the statutory sanction set out in the Chair's Provisional Decision, stating that the breach, which was not intentional, was unprecedented in the history of the service and the Licensee had done all it could to restore the service. The licensee also expressed concern that a financial penalty at the level that had been provisionally recommended by the Chair "will be the demise of Voice of Africa Radio".
The committee in considering the sanction noted that it could impose a penalty up to GBP 250,000 (USD 411,000) but that VoAR's published annual turnover for the year ending December 2009 was GBP 50,699 (USD 83,310) during which financial period the company reported a loss of GBP 10,550 (USD 17,340)
On this basis it opted for the GBP 1,000 penalty as being appropriate and proportionate.
2011-08-03: In a run of enforcement actions the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued or proposed penalties totalling just more than USD 22,000 to four US radio stations but had to cancel a further USD 10,000 penalty because it acted too late. The penalties (in descending amount order) were:
*Issued USD 9,000 forfeiture to Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, licensee of non-commercial educational station WBDG -FM, Indianapolis, Indiana, for failing to retain all required documentation in the Station's public inspection file. The FCC had issued a NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture)for this amount in 2005 following disclosure of the breach by the station the previous year when it applied for a licence renewal but has had no response to the NAL.
*Issued USD 7,000 NAL to of Nievezquez Productions, Inc. , licensee of WPRX-AM, Bristol, Connecticut, for late filing of licence renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The amount is made up of a base level penalty of USD 3,000 for the late filing and USD 4,000 for the unauthorized operation. The station's licence has been renewed.
*Dismissed petition for reconsideration of USD 5,600 forfeiture issued to Applied Life Ministries, Inc., former licensee of KALR-FM, Hot Springs, Arkansas, for late filing of licence renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The agency had initially issues a USD 7,000 NAL for the breaches in April 2007 but in February this year it reduced this to USD 5,600 on the basis of a history of compliance.
Applied Life in its petition argued that the breaches were not wilful and also argued that it was not liable as it was not the licensee when the forfeiture order was made. The FCC dismissed the arguments and confirmed the penalty.
*Issued USD 500 forfeiture to Butler Broadcasting Company, L.L.C., former licensee of FM translator station K246BS (formerly K244DS), Fayetteville, Arkansas, for late filing of licence renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The agency had originally issued a USD 6,000 NAL for the breaches in 2005 and Butler argued for reduction or cancellation on the basis amongst other things that the penalty was disproportionate to the gravity of the breach and a history of compliance.
The agency dismissed the other arguments but accepted that it has applied lower penalties to such cases and on this basis reduced the penalty to USD 500.
*Cancelled USD 10,000 forfeiture order issued to WPW Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WLBK-AM, DeKalb, Illinois, for failure to retain all required documentation in the Station's public inspection file,. WPW had requested cancellation in an initial response in which it argued that amongst other things it had voluntarily disclosed the breaches and implemented corrective measures.
These arguments were rejected and WPW responded with the petition arguing that the agency had issued the penalty after the deadline allowed. The FCC accepted that it had been too late and cancelled the penalty.
The agency has also issued its latest list of stations selected for Equal
Employment Opportunity (EEO) audits: In all 99 radio stations have been selected in the latest batches. They are from Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky;
Louisiana; Maine; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Washington State; and Wyoming.
2011-08-03: Clear Channel Media Holdings has mirrored CBS (below) with overall revenues in the second quarter up 8% but radio revenues up only half that. In its case it was not TV but its Outdoor company that did better with Clear Channel Outdoor revenues up 13% to USD 789 million, boosted by the fall in the dollar without which they would have been up 6% and within this Americas was up 5% and International up 19%. .
The 8% increase took its revenues to USD 1.6 billion and within them radio's 4% increase took it to USD 780.88 million with the rise put down by the company mainly to Company's acquisition of Westwood One's traffic business in April this year (See RNW Apr 29).
Expenses rose less and as a result overall OIBDAN was up 10% to USD 503 and the company's overall net loss was down to USD 38 million from USD 77 million a year earlier. .
Within these figures radio's operating expenses were up 8% to USD 472.20 million - of the USD 36 million increase Clear Channel says USD 23 million was related to the Westwood One acquisition- and radio OIBDAN was down 1% to and its OIBDAN was down 1% to USD 308.68 million.
The company also noted an increase of USD 4 million in radio's digital revenues, put down primarily to increased rates and adds that local and national advertising were relatively flat with increases across various advertising categories such as financial services and food and beverage being offset by decreases in other categories, including auto and political.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Tom Casey commented of the figures in a news release, "During the second quarter, we continued to execute our strategy to build on the leadership position of our assets and maximize our financial performance. Our results reflect a gradually improving global advertising marketplace and the benefits of our globally diversified platform. Our top line growth combined with our focus on cost management has resulted in consistent improvement in our overall operating profit margin. At the same time, we have continued to strategically invest in our digital platform, including the development of the next generation of Iheartradio.com and the ongoing deployment of our digital outdoor displays."
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-08-02: CBS Corporation has reported second quarter revenues up 8% to USD 3.6 billion albeit radio was only up 4% and the growth said the company was "driven by 21% growth in content licensing and distribution revenues."
OIBDA (Operating income before depreciation and amortization) was up 51% to USD 873 million and net earnings more than doubled from USD 150 million to USD 395 million (from 22 cents to 58 cents per diluted share) and adjusted earnings, which exclude a pre-tax loss on early extinguishment of debt of USD 41 million in 2010 but no adjustments this year, went up from USD 176 million, (25 cents per diluted share).
For the first six months, revenues are up 3.4% on a year earlier at USD 7.096 billion with OIBDA up 66% to USD 1.449 billion and net earnings up nearly five-fold from USD 124 million to USD 597 million.
Within the revenue figures entertainment was up 9.8% to USD 1.836 billion for the quarter and up 2.1% to USD 3.83 billion for the first six months; cable networks were up 11.9% to USD 413 million and 9.4% to USD 806 million respectively; and publishing fell 3.2% to USD 183 million and fell 09. % for the first six months to 338 million to take the Content group totals to USD 2.432 billion (Up 9%) and 4.974 billion ( Up 3%) respectively.
The Local group produced revenue rises of 4.1% to USD 1.181 billion and 3.8% to USD 2.215 billion respectively within which local broadcasting, which includes radio and TV stations, was up 1.9% to USD 691 million and up 2.2% to USD 1.312 billion and Outdoor was up 7.2% to USD 490 million and 6.4% to USD 903 million respectively.
Executive chairman Sumner Redstone commented, "CBS's second quarter performance built on our tremendous first quarter, posting strong results throughout each of our businesses. The Company continues to operate at an exceptionally high level as we remain focused on creating the absolute best content and distributing that content in strategic and profitable ways. I am confident that Leslie (CEO Leslie Moonves) and his team will continue to manage CBS for success and enhance shareholder value for a long, long time to come."
President and CEO Leslie Moonves added, "Our extraordinary second quarter results demonstrate the power of the strategic actions we've taken to strengthen our business model. We delivered stellar growth across every single key financial metric, nearing record levels in all profit measures. These remarkable results reflect our increasing ability to monetize our content, while at the same time, diversifying and de-risking our Company for the future, including recent new licensing deals with leading online video distributors... we continue to generate very healthy free cash flow and return an increasing amount of value to our shareholders through our ongoing share repurchase program and recently increased dividend. Going forward, positive trends and new developments in our industry position us to deliver strong results not only for the balance of the year, but in 2012 and beyond as well."
2011-08-02: Sirius XM has reported that it now has more than 21 million subscribers, a record high, as were it second quarter revenues of USD 744 million - up 6% on a year earlier - and adjusted EBITDA, which was up 20% to USD 185 million.
Free cash flow in the quarter was up 53% on a year earlier at USD 165 million and net income went from USD 15 million to USD 173 million ( from 0.000 to three cents per diluted share).
In all the company says that at the end of the second quarter it had 21,016,175 subscribers, up from 19,527,448 with the 2011 second quarter daily weighted average reaching 20,715,630. Average self-pay monthly churn was 1.9% in the quarter compared to 2.0% in the first quarter of this year and 1.8% in the second quarter of 2010 and subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) per gross subscriber addition was USD 54 in the second quarter of 2011, an 8% improvement from the USD 59 reported in the second quarter of 2010.
For the half year, Sirius XM has recorded revenues up 7.18% on a year earlier at USD 1.474,896 billion; adjusted EBITDA up 17.4% at USD 366.454 million; and net income up more than four-fold - from USD 56.87 million to USD 251.44 million (from a cent to four cents per diluted share).
The company has raised its guidance and says it now expects 16 million net subscriber additions and free cash flow approaching USD 400 million for this year.
CEO Mel Karmazin commented of the results, "Our results in the second quarter were strong, and we are proud of our record levels of subscribers, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA and growth in free cash flow. Sirius XM continues to perform well, and we are pleased to raise our subscriber guidance and, for the second time this year, our free cash flow guidance."
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Frear added, "We ended the second quarter with USD 528 million of cash and cash equivalents after using approximately USD 75 million to repurchase debt in the second quarter. We continue to make steady progress toward reaching our leverage target. Our net debt to adjusted EBITDA declined to 3.7x at the end of the second quarter of 2011 from 5.2x at the end of the second quarter of 2010. The company is examining ways to start efficiently returning capital to shareholders beginning in 2012."
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-08-02: Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), which last month announced a 1-for-ten reverse stock split to keep its NASDAQ listing that had been at risk because the stock had fallen below the USD 1 minimum price (See RNW Jul 11), has now formally announced that it has regained the listing.
The move, which had to succeed barring an almost total collapse of the company, did nothing to boost the value of the company with stock down 5.45% on the first day after the split to USD 6.24 after the split (See RNW Jul 12 ) and since then it has fallen even further, ending today at USD 4.17. It is still trading under the temporary symbol SBSAD|, which applies for 20 days after the conversion, after which it will again become SBSA.
2011-08-02: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in enforcement mode has issued penalties totalling more than USD 17,000 in connection with three instances of operating an unauthorized FM.
They were (in descending order):
*USD 10,000 forfeiture to Mikhail Rhodd of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida for operating an unlicensed FM. The agency had issued an NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for this amount in May (See RNW May 5) to which it received no response. It accordingly confirmed the penalty.
*USD 7,000 NAL to WKLC, Inc., licensee of WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia, for late filing of licence renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. WKLC's tower site had been destroyed in 2004 and it filed an application to construct new facilities approximately 2.3 km from the original site .This was granted and a CP issued that expired on July 19, 2007. WKLC then failed to file a covering license application by that date, and the CP expired.
WKLC had commenced operations well before then but did not file the licence application until May this year as a result of what it termed "inadvertent error."
It sought a waiver, which was refused and the agency has proposed base level forfeitures of USD 3,000 for the late filing of the renewal application and USD 4,000 - reduced from the base level of USD 10,000 - for the unlicensed operation to make USD 7,000 in total.
*Agreed consent decree with Alex Alcime of Fort Myers, Florida in connection with his operation of an unlicensed transmitter for which he had been issued with a USD 10,000 NAL in May (Also RNW May 5 ). Alcime had responded by saying he was unable to pay and the agency accepted this and has settled the issue with the decree, which includes a compliance plan under which Alcime authorizes the Fort Myers Police Department to release Mr. Alcime's radio transmitting equipment currently in police custody to the Bureau for destruction; commits himself to not operate an unlicensed radio station in the US at any time in the future; and pays USD 350 to the US Treasury.
The FCC also announced deadlines for the filing of comment concerning a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making in the Matter of Creation of a Low Power Radio Service; Amendment of Service and Eligibility Rules for FM Broadcast Translator Stations that it released earlier this month (See RNW Licence News Jul 17).
The Notice was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2011 and accordingly comments must be submitted no later than August 29, 2011 and reply comments by September 12, 2011.
2011-08-02: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds no radio complaints but does uphold two TV standards complaints, give details of another TV standards complaint and two TV fairness and privacy complaints not upheld as well as of various advertising minutage complaints upheld and a number of advertising minutage complaints considered resolved through action taken by the broadcaster.
The numbers compare to the upholding in the previous bulletin of TV standards complaints involving six broadcasters; finding breaches of TV regulations covering TV advertising break patterns advertising minutage ones on seven stations advertising break patterns breaches on five stations and an advertising minutage on another station resolved through action taken by the broadcaster plus the upholding of one TV Fairness and Privacy complaint was upheld in part and details being given of two more not upheld.
In addition Ofcom listed 35 TV complaints against 13 items that were investigated but not upheld - compared to 135 TV complaints against 19 items and two radio complaints against two items in the previous bulletin and a further 122 TV complaints against 111 items and 38 radio complaints (15 of them against one talkSPORT item) against 24 items that were assessed but not further investigated - this compares with 251 TV complaints against 149 items and 14 radio complaints against 14 items in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2011-08-01: Triton Media Group 's Dial Global and Westwood One have announced an agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction with the new entity, as yet unnamed, to remain listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Westwood One earlier this year sold its Metro Traffic operations to Clear Channel (See RNW Apr 29) leaving it with ad sales, sports and network radio assets.
The official release is sparse on details but it is expected that the combined entity will be controlled by Dial Global but will keep the Westwood One (WWON) listing as Dial Global is privately-owned.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to customary closing conditions and expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and further details including more on who takes what post and who is out are expected to come out when an 8k filing is made to the Securities and Exchange Commission later this week.
The release says the "combination of assets of Dial Global and Westwood One creates a diverse radio programming, services and advertising sales company, enhancing the array of products and services provided to radio stations and national advertisers. In addition, the merged entity will expand national advertising sales representation to independent content producers and networks" and Spencer Brown, David Landau and Ken Williams co-CEO's of Dial Global - who are to be in operational control of the new entity - commented, "This transaction brings together a highly complementary portfolio of programming assets that will better serve our clients and customers. We will focus on utilizing the combined company's expanded content and sales platform to enhance the services and value we offer to our current and future clients."
Westwood One President Rod Sherwood added, "We are excited about this merger and the benefits it will bring to our customers by complementing our existing portfolio of sports, talk, news, music and entertainment programming. Our employees have worked hard to create a diverse portfolio of assets that, when combined with Dial Global, will better serve our clients."
For Triton Media Group, President and CEO Neal Schore added, "Following the contemplated merger, we will continue to work closely with Dial Global, as well as the entire industry to develop innovative technologies that will help the radio industry continue to evolve. Triton Media Group will focus exclusively on operating our remaining division, Triton Digital, which is the leading digital platform company for the radio industry."
The Los Angeles-based Gores Group controls Westwood One and is currently its leading shareholder but Dial Global - which is backed by Oaktree Capital - will be the largest shareholder in the new group.
Previous Westwood One:
2011-08-01: Cumulus Media has now completed its acquisition of the remaining part of Cumulus Media Partners, LLC. (CMP) that it did not own (It announced in January that it had agreed to do this - See RNW Jan 31) and also says that it expects to complete its acquisition of Citadel (for once it used the correct term not the weasel "merger" term that had been used earlier in many releases) by the end of the year.
It had been operating CMP's business under a management agreement since CMP acquired Susquehanna Radio in 2006 in a deal announced in 2005 (See RNW November 1, 2005).
Cumulus says that in connection with the acquisition it issued 9,945,714 shares of its common stock to affiliates of the three private equity firms that had collectively owned 75% of CMP ---- Bain Capital Partners, LLC, The Blackstone Group L.P. and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. Blackstone received Class A common stock and the other two new authorized Class D non-voting common stock.
In addition, currently outstanding warrants to purchase common stock of a subsidiary of CMP were amended to instead become exercisable for up to 8,267,968 shares of common stock of Cumulus.
Cumulus' Chairman and CEO, Lew Dickey, commented, "We are pleased to have completed this important step with our acquisition of CMP. The combination of Cumulus and CMP is a strategic transaction that simplifies our operational structure and positions us to complete our pending transformational deal with Citadel Broadcasting. Following the completion of the Citadel acquisition, we plan to capitalize on the scale of the resulting pro forma platform of approximately 570 stations in 120 markets, and a radio network serving approximately 4000 station affiliates, to compete aggressively with our content and distribution capabilities in broadcast and new media. We are also excited about the opportunity to offer investors what we expect will be the largest pure play radio company, with a large and liquid market capitalization as well as a strong and flexible balance sheet that is well-positioned for continued growth."
2011-08-01: Buckley Broadcasting/Radio has announced that COO Joe Bilotta is to succeed Rick Buckley, who died yesterday (See RNW Jul 31) as President and CEO, effective immediately.
Bilotta has been with the company for decades, the last ten as COO and like Buckley is a former chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau: He currently serves on their Board.
Bilotta commented in a company news release, "It is with a profound sadness that we in Buckley Radio move forward after Rick's tragic and untimely death. We will all strive to remain in lockstep with his thoughts and ideas. Soldiering on will not be an easy task, but one that I and all hundreds of employees in our 6 markets and 17 stations will accomplish with integrity, intelligence, enthusiasm and tenacity".
Trustee Board representative Martha Fahnoe added, "In Joe Bilotta we enjoy someone who has unparallel institutional knowledge of our company and the radio broadcasting industry .He has our utmost confidence and we look to his leadership to continue the long broadcasting history we have with Buckley Radio."
In a tribute to Buckley, Bilotta commented, "There is no more impassioned leader of any company than Rick Buckley. He led the company that bears his name for over 4 decades and did so in a style and manner that reflected the family nature of his business.
"He loved Radio, loved his company and cared deeply for all of his employees.
A company is an assembly of its parts and Rick had a favourite saying that, 'People are our most important commodity' .You are and were his company. I trust that you will have him in mind with good thoughts and prayers.
"As we all soldier on, let's remember him as the caring, loving leader that he was and work to insure that the legacy he laboured so hard for lives on.
Previous Buckley Broadcaasting/Radio:
2011-08-01: Cox Media Group (CMG) has appointed industry veteran Steve Smith as its new Director of Programming. He will report directly to Group Vice President Ben Reed and is tasked with providing strategic advice on programming for the company's 85 radio stations.
Smith is a former vice president of Programming for Emmis and AMFM and a senior VP of Programming at Clear Channel.
2011-08-01: BBC journalists went on strike for 24 hours again at midnight in their second such protest at planned compulsory redundancies: They had already taken action last month (See RNW Jul 15) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and BBC management have failed to reach any agreement with the Corporation insisting that the cuts in funding meant they could not avoid compulsory redundancies.
Lucy Adams, the BBC's director of business operations, said in a message to staff that they were "unable to agree to NUJ members who are facing redundancy being treated differently to other BBC staff" and continued "Following the cuts in central government grants to the World Service and BBC Monitoring we have had to close 387 posts, meaning that regrettably there are nearly 100 staff who as a result are facing compulsory redundancy.
"We have been working with all these affected staff to ensure that they have opportunities for redeployment and retraining but we cannot and will not give preferential treatment to individuals depending on their union status.
"We hope the NUJ will realise that these issues are best solved at a local level, and a national strike that penalises all our audiences is not in the interests of their members, other BBC staff or licence fee payers."
A posting on the union website said, "Throughout negotiations with the BBC, the corporation's management has refused to take the necessary steps to avoid compulsory redundancies despite the NUJ offering a range of practical and alternative solutions in an attempt to stop journalists being forced into unemployment."
NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "The BBC's current actions spell disaster for quality journalism, the corporation is wasting thousands of pounds making hard working, skilled and experienced journalists redundant. Instead they should be adopting alternative solutions and redeploy those who are threatened. No one should be forced out of work when there are jobs available for journalists to do."
"By taking strike action," she continued, "members intend to show they are prepared to stand up for colleagues under threat and the union is calling on the corporation to step back from the brink and avoid further industrial action in response to compulsory redundancies at the BBC."
The strike began at midnight and almost immediately affected BBC Radio 5 Live, which aired pre-recorded programming in place of its Up All Night show.
Later there was a conflict between the BBC and NUJ over the effectiveness of the action with the Stanistreet commenting "There has been a really solid turnout on picket lines across the BBC, with a particular impact on regional news programmes." "There has been a really solid turnout on picket lines across the BBC, with a particular impact on regional news programmes " whilst Adams said "six out of seven staff" were working normally with all services on air and "limited changes to planned programming".
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